The British Antarctic Survey operates four Twin Otters and, in a typical season, the planes will arrive in the Antarctic in late October anddepart in early March after having flown around 1,300 hours in the Antarctic supporting some fifteen field projects and, in 2001, the TwinOtter was chosen as the only aircraft capable of performing a South Pole evacuation flight of a critical patient under extreme -60°Cconditions.One of the first orders, for five aircraft, was received from Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA). The airline currently operates 16 Twin Ottersbuilt by the original manufacturer, de Havilland Canada, as seaplanes and intends to expand throughout the Maldives as tourism will coverthe whole 850 kms long archipelago.TMA's managing director, Bram Steller, believes that the new Series 400 Twin Otters will allow his company to grow significantly. “Findinglight, well maintained airplanes is next to impossible and often requires major refurbishing or rebuilding,” he said. “Our current fleet is well-maintained but will benefit from the addition of new aircraft. The Twin Otter Series 400 will be perfect for our routes with more payload andmore range. An additional benefit will be the standardization since all current Twin Otters on the market have all been modified out-of-standardization."Other orders have come from Air Seychelles for two airplanes, Air Moorea for two and Zimex Aviation of Switzerland for one, these threeairlines currently operating more than 25 ‘heritage’ Twin Otters.Swiss-based Zimex, whose 12 existing Twin Otters form the backbone of its current fleet, have been operating for 30 years providingreliable, worldwide aircraft support to international organizations and the oil industry in desert and remote areas.The new aircraft, on wheels, with a standard 19-seat commuter interior and basic instrumentation, will sell for around £1.6 m at today'slevel of exchange rates and will be offered with floats or fully amphibious or ski landing gear as customer needs demand.The new Series 400 aircraft, based on the original design of the 19-seat de Havilland Canada Series 300, will have their major componentsbuilt in Victoria with aircraft assembly and customer delivery in Calgary, Alberta. It will incorporate a number of improvements based ontoday’s available technologies. The original Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 engines will be replaced by higher output PT6A-34 engines,flat-rated for better performance in all flight regimes and PT6A-35 engines and four blade propellers will be offered as optional extras.The new Twin Otter, a high winged, un-pressurized, twin engine turbine powered aircraft, will be a highly maneuverable, versatile aircraftwhich can be flown safely at various speeds from 80 to 160 knots.Although it is only in recent time that Loch Lomond Seaplanes has introduced 6 and 10-seat float-plane aircraft to the skies and waters ofthe west coast, in the 1930’s
‘British Amphibious Airlines’
, founded in 1932, used two Saunders-Roe
amphibious aircraft to flyfrom Renfrew to Greenock and Rothesay and
‘British Flying Boats Ltd.’
, for a week in August 1932, operated their Saunders-Roe
Cloud of Iona’
, between Greenock and Belfast and it requires little imagination now, with the prospect of the new 19-seat Series400 Twin Otters on the way, to suggest that it might not be long before someone takes the lead and introduces a 'rail-head' service linkingGlasgow and all the islands with Campbeltown, Oban, Fort William, Mallaig, Kyle of Lochalsh and inverness and with the far-flung and tillnow relatively isolated coastal villages of Ullapool, Gairloch and Lochinver which, in days of old, were serviced by the old MacBraynesteamers, an 'otterly brilliant' service for tourists and locals alike.Donald Kelly.
MAJOR ROAD MAINTENANCE WORKS A83 INVERARAY
WORK STARTS – THURSDAY 29
A major road maintenance contract for the A83 through Inveraray will be delivered through a £2.26M investment funded by TransportScotland and designed and managed on their behalf by Scotland TranServ.The maintenance work which will be carried out under a 25 week contract will commence on 29
November 2007.The improvement work involves the full reconstruction of 1.5km of carriageway and most of the adjacent footways, from a point just south ofthe Aray Bridge through the town centre to a point 700m south of the Church. Improved drainage and street lighting forms part of thecontract.The works will be phased to minimise disruption to the local community and the travelling public. In addition following extensive localconsultation no work will be carried out over the Christmas, New Year and Easter holiday periods during which time the traffic managementwill be removed from the Trunk Road.Given the extent and nature of these works through the town centre there has been close liaison with the Community Council, LocalAuthority and representatives of shopkeepers and residents during the planning stage.For safely reasons the work will be regulated by traffic management and the use of temporary traffic lights. During the phases which involvefootpath renewal pedestrians movements will be regulated although access to local shops will be maintained.Local businesses are aware that by contacting the onsite management team goods deliveries and uplifts will be maintained.