DHC-6 Twin Otter serial # 2, CF-PAT/C-FPAT has the highest air time and is arguably the most successful Twin Otter in the world. It was presented to the Museum on June 14, 2003 by Mrs. Rosella Borek.
The aircraft was produced at deHavilland's Ontario plant as part of the original pre-production run. It was first registered on May 25, 1966 under the registration CF-SJB, shortly afterwards an 'X' was added to signify participation in the pre-production flight test certification program. Following the success of the flight test program, # 2 was sold in late 1967 to American carrier Air Commuter Ltd. to provide service. The Twin Otter provided intercity shuttle and air taxi services in many areas replacing such veteran types as the DC-3 and the Beech 18.
Returning to Canada # 2 was acquired in 1968 by Pan-Arctic Oil Ltd. of Calgary and registered as CF-PAT, the "PA" standing for Pan-Arctic. The aircraft was based primarily in the NWT and was instrumental in the success of Pan Arctic’s exploration and development work in the north. In 1978, PAT was leased by Pan Arctic Oil to Ptarmigan Airways and then in October 1978 was acquired by Kenn Borek Air Ltd. It was frequently leased to other companies and earned its keep with a wide variety of northern and western operators.
In nearly thirty years of bush flying, it has supported oil exploration, provided executive transport and responded to medical emergencies evacuating the sick from remote locations in the north. It has carried everything from people, to oil exploration supplies, to fuel, to fish, to sled dogs.
Because of its long and outstanding service in the north and the exemplary contributions it has made to northern exploration and development and its service in western Canada, the Canadian Cultural Property Review Board has certified ‘PAT a Canadian cultural property, deemed to be of outstanding significance and national importance.
The de Havilland Canada Twin Otter (DHC-6) is a Canadian aviation success story. In the mid-1950s de Havilland Canada began to evolve a twin-engine STOL aircraft concept to follow on the success of the DHC-3 Otter. Once suitable engines were developed, (the 500hp Pratt and Whitney turboprop from United Aircraft of Canada) the concept became feasible. The two turboprops offered 50% more power with just 35% of the weight of the Otter’s single radial engine.
The Twin Otter was designed as a bush plane but also filled an important niche as a small commuter airliner. With the de Havilland STOL legacy and a ruggedness designed for bush work, it also contributed in large measure to a new vision of commuter air travel as well as a popular aircraft in less-developed regions of the world particularly the Canadian north where its payload, versatility and reliability made it popular with civil and military operators alike.