March 2020 - The Hangar Collapses, but Viking Remains Strong
One of the toughest challenges Viking has had to face in its 50 year history was bearing the aftermath of the "Blizzard of '96" in Victoria, British Columbia. During this snow storm of the century, over 65 cm of fresh snow fell in 24 hours at the end of December, adding to the 124 cm base accumulated earlier in the month.
Shortly after Christmas, the roof of Viking's Hangar 2 collapsed under the added weight of the heavy snow, causing catastrophic damage to the aircraft, equipment, and technical data housed underneath. The damage extended to Beaver and Turbo Beaver aircraft in the MRO, the Turbo Otter conversion project, and Viking's factory spare parts inventory.
To support customers during the extended clean up, the Viking crew worked tirelessly with a spirit of determination to salvage what they could from the undamaged areas. Under David Curtis' leadership, the company was able to meet customer commitments and stay strong through an extremely challenging time.
After all was said and done, the true Viking spirit shone through the grey skies and left an indelible mark on Viking's character to this day.
Download the March 2020 Calendar
Viking's March 2020 calendar is now ready for download. Here you can see the incredible photos submitted by our aircraft enthusiasts and supporters, as well as archival footage of events like the Blizzard of '96 that have helped shape our organization. Each month a new page of the calendar is released, until December 2020, when you will have collected the full 12 months.
Our History at a Glance
Over our 50 years in business, Viking has a lot of stories to tell. From our humble beginnings as a maintenance and aircraft repair company, to our purchase of the original type certificates of the Twin Otter, and everything in between, we're proud to be a part of Canada's aviation history.
- 1965 - First flight of the de Havilland Aircraft of Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, May 20, 1965.
- 1966 - The first (of many) Twin Otter delivered to the Ontario Government for Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) use in remote regions on wheels, wheel/skis and floats.
- 1970 - Viking Air Limited established as an aircraft maintenance and repair company at Victoria International Airport in Sidney, British Columbia, Canada with a focus on the seaplane and utility aircraft markets.
- 1976 - 500th DHC-6 Twin Otter delivered to Metroflight of Houston, Texas for commuter airline use.
- 1983 - Viking selected as the exclusive spare parts manufacturer and distributor for the out-of-production DHC-2 Beaver and DHC-3 Otter utility aircraft. Engineering drawings and tooling transferred from Downsview to Sidney, BC.
- 1988 - The de Havilland Canada factory delivers its last DHC-6 Twin Otter. The Twin Otter became the largest-selling 19-passenger utility turboprop aircraft in its class with a total of 844 Twin Otters manufactured in Downsview for delivery to customers in 76 countries.
- 1997 - Viking hosts a Golden Anniversary fly-in in Victoria, BC celebrating the 50th anniversary of the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver.
- 2005 - Viking purchases assets of Bombardier's Commercial Service Centre (CSC) including the Product Support and Spare Parts business for the DHC-6 Twin Otter, allowing Viking to work directly with operators for the supply of new parts and technical support.
- 2006 - Viking acquires Type Certificates for seven De Havilland legacy aircraft including the DHC-1 Chipmunk, DHC-2 Beaver, DHC-3 Otter, DHC-4 Caribou, DHC-5 Buffalo, DHC-6 Twin Otter and Dash 7. Transfer of the Type Certificates established Viking as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and provides the exclusive right to re-start production for any of these aircraft.
- 2007 - Viking launches the new Twin Otter Series 400 production program, modernizing the original design and featuring a Honeywell Primus Apex glass integrated avionics suite, advanced materials such as a modern composite nose section and more powerful P&WC PT6A-34 turboprop engines.
- 2008 - On October 1st, 2008, the proof-of-concept Series 400 technical demonstrator C-FDHT takes its first flight before heading to the National Business Aircraft Association annual convention in Orlando, Florida. Viking also expands its facilities at Victoria International Airport and opens a new warehouse and distribution facility at Calgary International Airport.
- 2009 - Viking develops new manufacturing tooling and parts supply chain to produce new Twin Otter Services 400 aircraft.
- 2010 - On February 16th, the first new-build Twin Otter in 22 years makes its initial flight at Viking's final assembly plant in Calgary, Alberta. Viking delivers its first Twin Otter Series 400 to launch customers Zimex Aviation in July after receiving Transport Canada Type Certification on June 24th.
- 2012 - Viking adds US FAA and Russian IACAR to the growing list of Type Certifications for the Twin Otter Series 400.
- 2013 - US Army adds three Series 400 aircraft to their existing fleet of legacy Twin Otters for use by the Golden Knights parachute demonstration team.
- 2014 - Viking delivers the 50th Twin Otter Series 400 to MASwings, the regional subsidiary of Malaysian Airlines. The first 50 aircraft were delivered to 22 customers in 17 countries worldwide, and in fiscal 2014 Viking delivers a record 27 production Series 400 aircraft. Pacific Sky Aviation, in partnership with Viking, order world's first Twin Otter Level "D" Simulator / Seaplane Trainer from TRU Simulation + Training (formerly Mechtronix).
- 2015 - Viking Air Limited hosts an "All Operator's Forum" in Victoria, BC to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Twin Otter aircraft.
- 2016 - Viking purchases the manufacturing and design rights to the Bombardier CL-415, CL-215 & CL-215T Amphibious Aircraft program. Viking also delivers the 100th Twin Otter Series 400, just six years after the initial flight. In recognition of the Twin Otter’s role in remote locations, the wing ribs of the 100th aircraft were taken to towns in Canada’s Northwest Territory to be signed by residents.
- 2017 - Viking launches the CL-415EAF upgrade program, giving aerial firefighting operators the opportunity to modify older CL-215 aircraft with turboprop engines, increased tank capacity and modern avionics. Viking's sister company, Longview Aviation Asset Management, also launches lease financing for new Twin Otter and CL-415EAF purchases, and Viking's other sister company Pacific Sky puts the world's first full motion level-D float plane simulator into operation with the new Twin Otter simulator in Calgary.