The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver was the first commercial STOL airplane in production in the world. It was created by de Havilland Canada (dHC) and entered production in 1947. After dHC was bought by Hawker-Siddley Canada, paper pushers at HSC decided that small planes were not image the company wanted to have, and stopped production in 1967, after about 1500 Beavers of all types had been produced, with a very strong demand left behind. Since that time, third party refitters have been rebuilding the bushplane for the heavy demand left in the marketplace. Kennmore Air produced many mods for the airplane after production ceased, which have since become industry wide norm. In the 2000s, Bombardier's Bombardier Aerospace of Canada sold the type to Viking Air of Canada, a retrofitter and parts producer for the Beaver. Viking Air plans to restart series production on the airplane. The Beaver has the highest number of produced units of any airplane from a Canadian airframer.
The original production Beaver used a Pratt & Whitney Canada PWC Wasp Junior radial engine, an engine first produced in 1927. When production ended, the Beaver was using a turbine engine. The two different enginings are usually the Piston Beaver and the Turbo Beaver. It generally came in the Land Beaver tail dragger configuration or the Sea Beaver floatplane configuration. In commercial service, the plane had two seats up front for pilot and co-pilot or passenger, a three-seat bench in the middle, and a cabin-cargo zone in back, capable of swallowing an ATV. Aft of the cabin-cargo zone is the tail cargo and fuel area. Ski and ski-pontoon operations in winter is used by some Beaver operators.
Of the production run, about 1000 of the airplanes were sold to the United States Army, and in the Korean War, it served as air evac and general's jeep, among other roles. The British RAF's fleet of about 50 airplanes were taken out of service in 1989.
For the 60th anniversary of the Beaver, the airplane called Olivia, named after the actress Olivia de Havilland, was restored into flying condition by Viking Air, after having sat in desert storage for 30 years.
The actor Harrison Ford has a piston Beaver as his personal airplane.
- de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
- USAAF C-127 Beaver
- USAA YL-20 Beaver
- USAA L-20 Beaver
- USAF U-6A Beaver
- USAF U-6B Beaver
- RAF AL.1 Beaver