DeHavilland Canada (Viking Air) DHC-3 Otter

As a bigger development of the DHC-2 Beaver the DHC-3 Otter is one of the largest single engine propeller aircraft built after World War II. Like the Beaver the Otter has high wings, braced by struts. The fuselage has the engine up front, with the cockpit close behind. Typical are the triangular side windows, in the cockpit door. The cabin windows are nearly square and have rounded corners. Another key feature is the cruciform tail, with a nicely curved shape, from the dorsal fin all the way to the tail cone.

The DHC-3 normally has a wheeled gear, in a tail gear configuration. However, nowadays many are fitted floats. They can also be equipped with skis. 

Viking Air purchased the type certificate for the DHC‑3 in 2006 (together with all models from DHC‑1 until DHC‑7). It continues support for the aircraft still in operation.

The tail of the DHC-3 is typical: curved all the way from the dorsal fin to the tail cone, over the top. The ventral fin is only for the float planes.

Different versions

The versions of the Otter can be distinguished from the outside by the shape of the nose, due to different engines. Details will follow later.

Confusion possible with

DeHavilland Canada DHC-2

dhc 2 mki

The Beaver is smaller than the Otter. Moreover, its tail is conventional, with the vertical stabiliser having a rounded triangular shape. Also the cabin win­dows are different.

Fairchild F-11 Husky

fairchild f 11 2

The Husky is also a Canadian bushplane and of similar size as the Otter. Typical is the rear loading capability, due to the curved up rear fuselage. Hence the tail wheel is placed just before the curve point. The vertical stabiliser is triangular with a rounded top. Finally, the wings have two struts each.

Noorduyn Norseman

norseman mkiv

Another Canadian bushplane, from an earlier generation. Its wing struts are com­posed of multiple bars, unlike the single one of the Otter. The tail is conventional and without a dorsal fin.

Antonov An-2

an 2t

The Antonov An-2 is about the Soviet equivalent of the DHC-3. It is bigger though, has multi-facetted cockpit windows and last but not least is a biplane. The latter should be enough to avoid confusion.