Valdor Aviation Receives STC for de Havilland Beaver Turboprop Conversion

Approval from Transport Canada covers numerous modifications beyond the new engine.

Valdor Aviation Beaver

Valdor Aviation’s STC includes a turbine engine and new wing for de Havilland Beavers. [Courtesy: Valdor Aviation]

Valdor Aircraft, a Quebec company that provides a range of aircraft services, received supplemental type certificate (STC) approval to install Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A-34 engines in de Havilland DHC-2 Beavers.

The recently approved upgrade goes beyond replacing the Beaver’s original Pratt & Whitney R985 radial engine with a modern turbine to increase performance and efficiency. The re-engined Beavers receive new wings, fuel, oil, and electrical systems, engine monitoring, carbon-fiber cowlings, and more. Valdor calls the almost-all-new aircraft the BX Turbo Beaver.

Valdor noted that many of the updates it makes to the aircraft reflect aviation regulations that are more stringent than in 1948 when the Beaver was first  certified. Many of the changes under the STC reflect how much aviation has advanced over the Beaver’s long lifespan.

The aircraft was developed based in part on a wish list compiled through surveys of Canadian bush pilots. Bush aircraft at the time tended to be underpowered and a bit frail, so de Havilland focused on making the Beaver rugged and powerful. 

The company chose the R985, known as the Wasp Junior, because it delivered even more power than the designers specified for the original airframe. By now, though, many of the Beavers still flying have outlived their radials and can benefit from the turbine’s power boost. Valdor’s BX Turbo Beaver upgrade joins a long list of modifications developed over decades to keep these sought-after aircraft in service.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter