291 - DHC-6-300 N291AL ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc., Anchorage, AK [Alberta Aircraft Leasing]
Flew Anchorage, AK - Deadhorse-Alpine, AK 17-Jun-2019 as CON291, returning to service after having most recently been parked in Anchorage.
963 - DHC-6-400 C-FVGY Viking Air Ltd., Sidney, BC
Registered 17-Jun-2019, ex N963VK. This is one of the Qatar airplanes, which had been registered in the U.S. while undergoing work at Ikhana.
Viking Launches World Demonstration Tour for Guardian 400 Special Mission Aircraft at Paris International Airshow
Paris, France, June 17th, 2019: Today at the 2019 Paris International Airshow, Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia has revealed its Guardian 400 special mission variant of the Series 400 Twin Otter at its first public event. This also marks the launch of the global demonstration tour announced by Viking in late May.
Featuring a pixelated camouflage paint scheme, the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft flew from Viking’s corporate headquarters in Western-Canada at the beginning of June to Airborne Technologies’ facilities in Wiener Neustadt, Austria for further modifications prior to the Paris Air Show.
Airborne Technologies, Viking’s principal partner for the tour, is missionizing the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft. It has designed and manufactured the wing-mounted SCAR pods that house the aircraft’s sensor equipment and its Airborne LINX® flexible surveillance architecture solution that integrates all sensors and communications systems on board the aircraft with an intuitive user interface.
The sensor equipment installed on the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft has been supplied by key tour sponsors, including Hensoldt, Leonardo, Sentient. Hensoldt has supplied the Argos EO/IR imaging turret with multi-spectral HDTV camera, mega-pixel HD Thermal imager, laser range finder, multi-mode auto tracker, and Remote Image Bus (RIB) video feed for display on the cockpit MFD and/or crew workstation.
An Osprey Radar system, supplied by Leonardo, is a low size weight and power (SWaP) active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar surveillance system that features 120-degree forward swath and true multi-mission capability for high performance maritime and land surveillance. The Osprey system also provides high-resolution ground mapping, small and low speed ground target indication, and air-to-air surveillance, tracking and intercept capability.
Sentient has supplied the Visual Detection and Ranging (ViDAR) Camera system complete with Kestrel moving target indication (MTI). The VidAR is a wide area optical search system consisting of high-resolution sensors coupled with onboard automation software capable of detecting small objects and dramatically extending aircraft coverage during Search & Rescue missions. The Kestrel MTI continuously detects moving objects while increasing the surveillance area by a factor of 20, thereby reducing operator fatigue and increasing reliable detection over long missions.
CarteNav Solutions, also a key contributor to the Guardian 400 demonstrator, is providing its AIMS mission system software that processes and manages imagery and data from the various sensors to enhance situational awareness and improve mission effectiveness with real time, geo-referenced local operating pictures.
The Guardian 400 prototype will also feature an Airborne Technologies’ tactical workstation with high- definition touchscreen monitors, data/voice/video recorder, Mission Management Unit (MMU), mission radio communications, intuitive hand controller for MCU & SLR camera targeting and IKHANA ergonomic operators mission seat for optimized crew comfort. The prototype will also be equipped with Viking conformal bubble windows, left and right NATO standard wing-mounted hard points by IKHANA, Thunder Bay Aviation stretcher racks, and an aft lavatory for crew comfort.
“We have been engaged in the special missions arena for many years, and have put together a team of partners, led by Airborne Technologies, with extensive experience integrating flexible architecture solutions that are customized to suit each customer’s specific mission requirements,” said Robert Mauracher, Viking executive vice president, Sales & Marketing.
AeroSimulators Group is providing simulation support for the Guardian 400 aircraft demonstration at the Paris International Airshow as well as providing additional simulation support during the world demonstration tour.
Immediately following the Paris International Airshow, the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft will return to Airborne’s facility in Austria and be made available for European prospects to view until mid-September when the aircraft embarks on the next leg of its world tour.
The Guardian 400 world demonstration tour encompasses detailed briefings and demonstration flights scheduled for Austria, Italy, Algeria, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Russia, United States, and Canada. A tour extension to Central and South America is also under consideration to commence in the fall of 2020.
The Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft will also be available for viewing in conjunction with the 2019 Dubai Airshow, 2020 Singapore Airshow, and the 2020 CANSEC Defence & Security Show in Ottawa, Canada.
Air Antilles to Become First Caribbean Operator, First Certified Steep Approach Operator with Purchase of Viking Series 400 Twin Otters
Paris, France, June 18th, 2019: Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and Air Antilles, of Guadeloupe, French West Indies, have signed an agreement for the purchase of two Viking Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, making Air Antilles the first commercial operator of the Series 400 in the Caribbean. Also forming part of the purchase agreement, Air Antilles will become the first Series 400 Twin Otter operator to receive European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for steep approach operations.
The two Viking-built Series 400 Twin Otters are scheduled for delivery to Air Antilles in the last quarter of 2019 and will be configured as 19-passenger regional commuter landplanes to replace the two legacy de Havilland Series 300 aircraft currently in commercial service with the airline.
With delivery of the Series 400 aircraft, Air Antilles will become the first commercial operator to receive EASA certification for steep approach landings, providing the airline with procedures to operate at approach angles in excess of 4.5 degrees. This is essential for Air Antilles’ scheduled operations to Gustaf III airport in Saint Barthelemy in order to satisfy EASA’s requirements for all commercial aircraft that access the airport to have factory certification for steep approach landings due to the surrounding mountainous terrain.
Eric Kourry, chairman of Guyane Aero Invest, the holding company of Air Antilles, commented, “As an operator of legacy de Havilland Series 300 aircraft for more than a decade, our knowledge of the Twin Otter’s exceptional flight capabilities, ease of maintenance, high dispatch reliability and suitability for our operations made selection of the Viking Series 400 a natural choice for upgrading our fleet.
“As travel tourism in the Caribbean expands, improvements to safety are becoming increasingly important for airlines to retain a competitive advantage. The innumerous improvements made to the new Series 400 will help Air Antilles increase safety and bring added value to their flight operations,” said David Caporali, Viking regional sales director for the Americas. He added, “The Caribbean shows encouraging market opportunities for Series 400 Twin Otter due to its low operating costs, ability to access the many short runways throughout the region, and its ability to support growth of an inter-island commercial transportation network. We highly value Air Antilles' initiative to be the launch customer for the Series 400 in the region and are confident this relationship will yield many good results for both parties.”