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  • Writer's pictureAvaitors Maldives

Did You Know? The Oldest Aircraft Currently Operating in the Maldives Is 57 Years Old!

Under the Maldivian government’s ambitious plan to launch an Air Ambulance Service, a Maldivian Dash8-200 was converted to be utilized as a dedicated Air Ambulance Aircraft.

Following this, rumors and misinformation circulated about the Dash8s history. Some claimed that it had been grounded for over 12 years, while others questioned its capability due to its age.

In aviation age alone is not a decisive factor. Aircraft undergo rigorous routine maintenance, ensuring their airworthiness. Airplanes through routine maintenance daily basis. Every few years the entire airplane has completely disassembled to be inspected in full with engines overhauled.

One excellent example is the  oldest aircraft operating right now in the Maldives. A DHC6-100 Twin Otter registered to Trans Maldivian Airways as 8Q-OEQ. This remarkable plane has been soaring through the skies for over 57 years.

Built in 1967, it was officially registered in the Maldives in 1995 operating entirely in Canada before. Its longevity is a testament to meticulous maintenance, skilled engineering, and unwavering dedication.

The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter

The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter is a STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, designed to operate in challenging environments that has been in production since mid-1960s. It has a twin-engine configuration and can carry passengers, cargo, and perform various missions.

The Twin Otter is particularly renowned for its amphibious/seaplane version. When equipped with amphibious floats, it can seamlessly transition between water landings and paved surfaces. This makes it ideal for seaplane operations, especially in regions with lakes, rivers, and coastal areas.

The Twin Otter’s sturdy construction allows it to withstand harsh conditions, including saltwater exposure. It can take off and land on both water and runways. The aircraft can be configured for various roles, such as passenger transport, cargo, medivac, and special missions.

The Twin Otter is popular for scenic flights, island hopping, and eco-tourism. It serves remote communities, connecting them to larger cities. Its STOL capabilities make it effective for rescue missions. Researchers use it for environmental studies and wildlife monitoring.

In summary, the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, especially in its amphibious form, is a workhorse that combines ruggedness, versatility, and the ability to operate on both land and water. Whether flying tourists over scenic landscapes or serving remote communities, the Twin Otter continues to be an enduring icon in aviation history.

The Twin Otter has become an integral part of the Maldivian aviation landscape. Its versatility allows it to navigate through challenging water conditions operating directly to islands making it ideal for the Maldives’ unique island geography.



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