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LN-BNM Photo: Jan-Olav Martinsen

DHC-6-300 Twin Otter LN-BNM (s/n 408)
Photo: © Jan-Olav Martinsen 1974
Large photo at www.airpics.com

Series Comparison


Prototype and 4 pre-production aircraft (s/n 1- 5). Maximum number of seats limited to 16 by the approved seating arrangement. PT6A-20 engine.

S/n 6 -115. These aircraft had a larger door on the left side of the cabin (56 x 50 in vs. 46.5 x 45.5 in on the Series 1), and provisions for double seats on the right side of the cabin, thereby increasing the maximum number of seats to 21. The Series 1 and 100 were characterized by a "Short Nose" with a baggage compartment door on the front of the aircraft.

S/n 116 - 230 (Except 130 & 210 which were converted to Series 300). The Series 200 was characterized by a longer nose containing a larger forward baggage compartment, an extended (shelf) rear baggage compartment and larger baggage compartment doors.

S/n 130, 210, 231 - 844. This was the final production model and is characterized by having PT6A-27 engines, higher operating weights, escape hatches in the forward part of the cabin and deletion of the roof hatch. Conversion to a floatplane requires installation of the "short nose". The maximum number of seats is 22. Certification was completed to CAR-3 and SFAR-23 regulations.

Significant variants within these series include:

SERIES 110, 210, 310
Certificated to British CAA. requirements, including short field performance.

Certificated to Australian DCA. requirements.






Serial Numbers 1 thru 5 6 thru 115
116 thru 230
130, 210
231 thru 844






Takeoff (5 Minutes)

550 SHP

550 SHP

620 SHP

Max. Continuous

550 SHP

550 SHP

620 SHP

Max. Climb

538 SHP

538 SHP

588 SHP

Max. Cruise

495 SHP

495 SHP

588 SHP

WEIGHT (lbs)

Maximum Takeoff




Maximum Landing




0.W.E. (Typical)




Wing Loading (lbs/sq ft)




Power Loading (Ibs/shp)






184 (Photo: Steinar Saevdal 1987)

"184" DHC-6 Series 200 ("long nose")
719 Squadron
Bodø, Norway, 1987
Photo: © Steinar Saevdal

DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300


More text coming...



2 x P&WC PT6-A27 (Turboprop)

Shaft Horsepower



Hartzell 3-Bladed, Full-Feathering, Reversible


Wing Span

65 ft 0 in


51 ft 9 in


19 ft 6 in

Tailplane Span

.20 ft 8 in

Wheel Track

12 ft 2 in

Wheel Base

14 ft 10.5 in

Wing Area

420.0 sq ft

Aileron Area

33.2 sq ft

Flap Area

112.2 sq ft

Fin Area

48.0 sq ft

Rudder Area (Incl. tab)

34.0 sq ft

Tailplane Area

100.0 sq ft

Elevator Area (Incl. tabs)

35.0 sq ft


Cabin Length

18 ft 6 in

Maximum Width

63.25 in

Maximum Height

59.0 in

Floor Area

80.2 sq ft


384 cu ft

Cabin Doors - Left

56 x 50 in

Cabin Doors - Right

30 x 45.5 in

Total Baggage Volume

126 cu ft

Passenger Seats (max)



Maximum Operating Speed

170 Knots

Maximum Cruise Speed at 10,000 ft

182 Knots

Stalling Speed

56 Knots

Rate of Climb at SL - 2 Engines

1,600 ft/min

Rate of Climb at SL - 1 Engine

340 ft/min

Service Ceiling - 2 Engines

26,700 ft

Service Ceiling - 1 Engine

11,600 ft

Payload/Range (Normal Tanks, 45 Min Reserve):

100 NM / 4,280 lb
400 NM / 3,250 lb
775 NM / 0 lb


More text coming....

OY-POF (Photo: Steinar Saevdal 1987)

OY-POF (s/n 235) DHC-6 Series 300
Greenlandair Charter (now Air Greenland)
Bodø, Norway, 1987
Photo: © Steinar Saevdal

The Vistaliner®


In the late 1970's, owners of Grand Canyon Airlines, John Seibold and Elling Halvorson, realized that the air tour industry needed a safer, stronger, quieter, more reliable, and much more environmentally friendly aircraft. They sensed a real need to address safety issues and concerns regarding noise and pollution generated while air touring over such a precious environment as the magnificent Grand Canyon. At the time, GCA owned and operated a fleet of thirteen (13) older Cessna C-207 airplanes and were flying nearly 80,000 passengers a year. These airplanes had five cramped passenger seats, very small windows, one noisy piston driven engine, no climate controls (except for small air vents), and just one pilot at the controls of every flight. Both being pilots themselves, Seibold and Halvorson knew that the density altitude and power limitations of those types of aircraft were not ideal over the Canyon on a hot day with a full load of fuel and passengers, especially departing a high-altitude airport such as the Grand Canyon National Park Airport (6500 ft above sea level). While the Canyon is always spectacular, an air tour in the back seat of a Cessna 207 was often just an uncomfortable ride. Seibold, also founder and then owner of the modern Scenic Airlines in Las Vegas (founded 1967), and Halvorson, founder and owner of Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters (founded 1965), were both committed to carrying on the legacy of pioneering the industry which their small airline had created fifty years earlier. They were (and still are) 100% committed to the future of the air tour industry and the benefits they provide, especially at the Grand Canyon.

Seibold, with his engineering background, considered several different types of aircraft for the new fleet of GCA and Scenic. He borrowed a DeHavilland Twin Otter airplane from a friend in 1980 for the summer. The Twin Otter, one of the most famous Canadian made aircraft, is known world-wide as a truly incredible aircraft with extremely unique flying characteristics and was the perfect combination of both strength, reliability, comfort, and quiet. The only thing Seibold did not particularly care for was the original, small "port-hole" style windows which were factory original and made it difficult for passengers to see views below. After extensive research and assistance from RW Martin Aviation and CAE Engineering, it was determined that Seibold was right, and that it could be "re-modeled" with much larger, sightseeing style windows without compromising the integrity of the rugged Twin Otter. Ultimately, this led to the creation of what Seibold and Halvorson named the "VISTALINER" after the incredible panoramic vista-views offered to every passenger on the aircraft. The 19 passenger configuration also allowed GCA to fly the same number of passengers over the Canyon with just 1/3rd the number of flights compared to what their previous fleet would allow. The cost was enormous (one Twin Otter is valued at the price of nearly ten (10) Cessna 207 airplanes) but Scenic Airlines and Grand Canyon Airlines began a quest of acquiring Twin Otter aircraft from around the world and modifying them with their newly-patented VISTALINER configuration.

Since the first VISTALINER went online at Grand Canyon Airlines in March, 1983 [CELEBRATING OVER 20 YEARS], the ownership has modified over 40 of these aircraft in the VISTALINER configuration. The STC (or patent) on these special modifications are still owned by Seibold / Halvorson. The VISTALINER is now known world-wide to be the ultimate limousine of air tour aircraft and are leased world wide. See other differences that make GCA unique and the preferred air tour operator.

Partial List of Major Differences & Benefits of the GCA VISTALINER
  1. High wings with no obstructions, reengineered with the largest flat, un-tinted panoramic windows on any air tour aircraft offering unbelievable views from every seat. Perfect for sightseeing and photography!

  2. Configured with 19 comfortable, roomy seats, it is perfect for groups of any size (literally!) Because GCA led the way in voluntarily upgrading its fleet of single engine aircraft (5-6 seats each) to the 19 passenger VISTALINERS, Grand Canyon Airlines flies just one flight over the Canyon for what previously required three flights to accommodate the same number of passengers. The VISTALINER has significantly reduced the flight intrusions and noise generated by 2/3rds at GCA's operation.

  3. Two extremely powerful, TURBINE driven engines (not piston). Extremely strong, reliable, and quiet Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27. Very significant difference in strength and exterior noise compared to competitor's aircraft. 

  1. Passenger Cabin is climate controlled with heat and air conditioning to allow for the most comfortable ride.

  1. TWO highly qualified and trained pilots in control of EVERY Vistaliner flight. (GCA also has higher pre-hire minimum requirements and qualifications for its Captains and First Officers than that of its competitors).

  2. Digital narration system on board with BOSE* Tri-Port headphones at each passenger seat for music and information throughout the flight. GCA also has their Grand Canyon tour narration in several languages [Spanish, Japanese, German, Italian, French, Dutch, English, Korean].

  1. Grand Canyon Airlines aircraft have a substantially better communications system and avionics package as well as numerous other special upgrades.

  2. Each seat is also equipped with an adapter jack outlet where upon request, passenger can connect their personal camcorders or digital video cameras (via the mic jack) allowing the digital tour narration and music to be cleanly recorded without feedback or background noise, making wonderful souvenir videos!

  3. Each aircraft has high-technology weather radar equipment, terrain and collision avoidance systems, GPS navigation systems, de-ice / anti-ice system with fully instrument flight rule capable flying.

  1. Passenger cabin is large and roomy with high ceiling, allowing for a more comfortable ride. Interior is immaculate. GCA is proud to specialize in assisting physically challenged and impaired Grand Canyon visitors in the large VISTALINER to be able to experience the Canyon by air. The aircraft is large and stable, generally allowing for a much smoother ride than smaller aircraft.

  2. Each VISTALINER is maintained thoroughly each day by a first-rate internal maintenance team. All maintenance (general and major) is done in-house in our 10,000 square foot hangar and maintenance facility. Below is a picture of a thorough inspection and refurbishment after adding the large windows.

  1. Each GCA VISTALINER is valued at over $1.6 million dollars. Just one is worth nearly the entire previous GCA fleet of thirteen (13) Cessna 207 airplanes.

  2. GCA employs "quiet technology". By adding a specially designed fourth blade to the already quiet propeller, this successfully reduced the exterior noise by an additional 66%. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Park Service consider the VISTALINER to be the quietest aircraft currently flying tours of Grand Canyon.

  1. The Twin Otter VISTALINER is considered a STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, making it a perfect aircraft for short, unimproved, remote strips and airfields. It also allows for slow (approximately 90 knots) stable flight during tours for superb viewing.

  2. GCA owns a fleet of six (6) VISTALINER aircraft and has an exclusive operation of this type of aircraft on tours from Grand Canyon and Scottsdale. GCA is capable of handling up to 114 passengers per departure.

  1. The VISTALINER has large cargo hauling capability in its baggage compartments.

  2. 19 passengers per flight allow GCA to operate a lower unit cost per passenger, thereby allowing GCA to provide the most affordable tours offered.

To see more, please click here.


Grand Canyon Airlines, Inc.
PO Box 3038
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023-3038

Corp Office: (928) 638-2463
Corp Fax: (928) 638-9461

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Updated 2013-03-31

© 2006-2013 Steinar Saevdal