The De Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo is, in essence, an enlarged turboprop development of the DHC-4 Caribou. The type is readily distinguished from its predecessor by its T-tail and large engine nacelles.
The prototype DHC-5 Buffalo (US Army 63-13686) was first flown on 9th April 1964 and followed an experimental turboprop conversion of the Caribou that had been flown on 22nd September 1961 as the ‘Caribou II’. Like the Caribou, it was a rugged, short take-off and landing aircraft ideally suited for operations from unprepared airfields. The DHC-5 Buffalo was characterised as offering twice the payload capacity of the Caribou, combined with superior short field performance.
Capacity is up to 41 troops or some 18,000 lb of cargo payload and power is provided by two 3,133 hp GE CT64 turboprops.
Four test aircraft (designated YAC-2, later C-8) were delivered to the US Army. These were followed by 15 CC-115 transports for the RCAF.
A new variant, the DHC-5D, was put into production in 1974 and achieved export sales success with small numbers of aircraft being sold to a number of countries. Export customers included Abu Dhabi (5), Brazil (24), Cameroon (5), Chile (1), Zaire (DRC) (3), Ecuador (4), Egypt (10), Indonesia, Kenya (10), Mauretania (2), Mexico (2), Oman (3), Peru (16), Sudan (4), Tanzania (6), Togo (2), and Zambia (7).
A total of 126 DHC-5 Buffalo were built (with construction numbers running from c/n1 to c/n126) with the last production DHC-5D being delivered to the Kenyan Air force in December 1986.
The DHC-5E Transporter was a projected civil transport variant designed for up to 48 passengers and although a prototype / demonstrator was built, the programme was halted after a landing accident to this aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show in 1984.
The Type Certificate for the Buffalo is now owned by Viking Air Ltd who provides parts and support services for the remaining fleet world-wide.
|Powerplant||Two 3,133 hp GE CT64-820-4 turboprop engines|
|Span||96 ft 0 in|
|Maximum Weight||49,200 lb|
|Capacity||Two crew and up to 41 troops|
|Maximum Speed||290 mph|
|Range (runway ops)||2,038 miles with zero payload, 691 miles with 18,000 lb payload.|
|DHC-5||Twin-engined STOL tactical, utility transport aircraft for the US Army. Original US Army designation AC-2, later C-8|
|DHC-5A||Employed by RCAF (CC-115), Brazil and Peru|
|DHC-5D||Improved version with two GE T-64-820-4 engines|
|DHC-5E Transporter||Civil variant, single demonstrator only|
Although mainly retired from military service, a small number of DHC-5 Buffalo aircraft are still flying.