De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou

De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou

infobox Aircraft
name =DHC-4 Caribou
type =STOL Transport
manufacturer =de Havilland Canada

caption =The C-7 Caribou.
designer =
first flight = 30 July 1958
introduced = 1961
retired =
status =
primary user = United States Army
more users = Royal Australian Air Force
produced =
number built =307
unit cost =

The de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou (known in the U.S. military as CV-2 and C-7 Caribou) was a Canadian-designed and produced specialized cargo aircraft with short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. The Caribou was first flown in 1958 and although mainly retired from military operations, is still in use in small numbers as a rugged "bush" aircraft.

Design and development

de Havilland Canada's third STOL design was a big step up in size compared to its earlier DHC Beaver and DHC Otter, and was the first DHC design powered by two engines. The Caribou, however, was similar in concept in that it was designed as a rugged STOL utility. The Caribou was primarily a military tactical transport that in commercial service found itself a small niche in cargo hauling. The United States Army ordered 173 in 1959 and took delivery in 1961 under the designation AC-1 which then changed to CV-2 Caribou.

The majority of Caribou production was destined for military operators, but the type's ruggedness and excellent STOL capabilities also appealed to a select group of commercial users. US certification was awarded on 23 December 1960. Ansett-MAL, which operated a single example in the New Guinea highlands, and AMOCO Ecuador were early customers, as was Air America, (a CIA front in South East Asia during the Vietnam War era for covert operations). Other civil Caribou aircraft entered commercial service after being retired from their military users.

Today only a handful are in civil use.

Operational service

In response to a US Army requirement for a tactical airlifter to supply the battlefront with troops and supplies and evacuate casualties on the return journey, de Havilland Canada designed the DHC-4. With assistance from Canada's Department of Defence Production, DHC built a prototype demonstrator that flew for the first time on 30 July 1958.

Impressed with the DHC4's STOL capabilities and potential, the US Army ordered five for evaluation as YAC-1s and went on to become the largest Caribou operator. The AC-1 designation was changed in 1962 to CV-2, and then C-7 when the US Army's CV-2s were transferred to the US Air Force in 1967. US and Australian Caribou saw extensive service during the Vietnam conflict.

The U.S. Army purchased 159 of the aircraft and they served their purpose well as a tactical transport during the Vietnam War, where larger cargo aircraft such as the C-123 Provider and the C-130 Hercules could not land on the shorter landing strips. The aircraft could carry 32 troops or two Jeeps or similar light vehicles. The rear loading ramp could also be used for parachute dropping (also, see Air America).

In 1967, a political decision was made by the United States Air Force who, believing that all fixed-wing aircraft operations were its own province, demanded that the Army turn over the Caribou. The Army ultimately traded the Caribou to the Air Force in exchange for an end to restrictions on Army helicopter operations. In addition, some US Caribou were captured by North Vietnamese forces and remained in service with that country through to the late 1970s.

Most of the C-7s have since been phased out of the US military. Other notable military operators included: Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Malaysia and Spain.

In current service, the Royal Australian Air Force still operates 13 Caribous, which are due to be replaced at the end of 2009, while Brazil's Caribous are slowly being replaced by more modern EADS CASA C-295 turboprop cargo airplanes.


;DHC-4 Caribou:STOL tactical transport, utility transport aircraft.;;CC-108::Royal Canadian Air Force designation for the DHC-4 Caribou.;;YAC-1::This designation was given to five DHC-4 Caribous, sold to the United States Army for evaluation.;;AC-1::United States Army destination for the DHC-4 Caribou. Later redesignated CV-2A in 1962.;;CV-2A::United States Army AC-1 redesignated in 1962.;;CV-2B::This designation was given to a second batch of DHC-4 Caribous, which were sold to the US Army.;;C-7A/B::This designation was given to all 134 US Army CV-2A/B Caribous, which were transferred to the US Air Force.;DHC-4A Caribou:Similar to the DHC-4, but this version had an increased take-off weight.;DHC-4T Turbo Caribou:A conversion of the baseline DHC-4 Caribou powered by the PWC PT6A-67T turboprop engines designed, test flown and certified by the Pen Turbo Aviation company.


Military operators

;flag|Abu Dhabi;AUS
*Royal Australian Air Force;BRA
*Brazilian Air Force;CAM;CAN
*Royal Canadian Air Force; retired with the Canadian Forces;CMR;COLFact|date=July 2007;CRC
*One aircraft used by the Seccion Aérea de la Guardia Civil [ [ Serial MSP002 C-7A MSN 149] ] ;GHA
*Ghana Air Force;IND
*Indian Air Force;KEN
*Kenya Air Force [Andrade 1982, p. 141.] operated type 1966-1987.;KWT
*Kuwait Air Force received two aircraft in 1963. [ [ "Kuwait Air Force (KAF)" entry at the "Scramble" magazine website] ] ;LBRFact|date=July 2007;MYS
*Malaysian Air Force retired their Caribous from active service. [ [ "Malaysian Forces Overview" entry at the "Scramble" magazine website] ] ;OMN
*Sultanate of Oman Air Force [ [ "Royal Air Force of Oman" entry at the "Scramble" magazine website] ] ;ESP
*Spanish Air Force;flag|South Vietnam
*Vietnam Air Force;SWE
*Swedish Air Force operated one DHC-4 Caribou designated Tp 55 between 1962 and 1965 for evaluation purposes in F7 Wing. [ [ "Caribou Roster"] ] ;TAN
*Tanzanian Air Force [ [ "Caribou Roster"] ] ;THA
*Royal Thai Police The Royal Thai Police used three DHC-4A from 1966 to 2005. [ [ ""] ] ;UGA
*Ugandan Police Air Wing [John Andrade, "Militair 1982", Aviation Press, London, ISBN 0 907898 01 7 Page 231] ;USA
*United States Army
*United States Air Force;VNM
*Vietnam People's Air Force captured several ex-VNAF airplane.;ZAMFact|date=July 2007

Civil operators

*Ansett-MAL operated one aircraft in the New Guinea highlands.;CAN
*La Sarre Air Services;ECU
*AMOCO Ecuador
*Anglo-Ecuador Oilfields
*Aerolineas Condor of SA;GAB
*Air Inter Gabon;IDN
*Trigana Air;MLT
*New Cal Aviation;PNG
*Garamut Exploration Services
*Vanimo Trading;TWN
*Air Asia;USA
*Air America
*Bannock Aerospace
*Chieftain Air
*Deutsche Aviation
*Environmental Research Institute of Michigan
*Fowler Aeronautical Service
*H A T Aviation Inc.
*John Woods Inc.
*New Cal Aviation
*Pen Turbo Aviation


;de Havilland AC-1 "60-3767":Exhibited at Travis AFB Museum, California;de Havilland AC-1A "62-4188":On display at New England Air Museum, Bradley Airport, Connecticut;de Havilland CV-2B Caribou "63-9756":Exhibited at Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins AFB, Georgia;de Havilland CV-2B Caribou "63-9760":Exhibited at Dover AFB Historical Center, Delaware.;de Havilland C-7A Caribou "62-4193":Exhibited at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

pecifications (C-7B)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 72.58 ft
length alt= 22.12 m
span main= 95.58 ft
span alt= 29.13 m
height main= 31.66 ft
height alt= 9.65 m
area main= 912 ft²
area alt= 84.7 m²
empty weight main= 18,260 lb
empty weight alt= 8,283 kg
loaded weight main= 31,000 lb
loaded weight alt= 14,198 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
more general=
engine (prop)= Pratt and Whitney R-2000-7M2 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder
type of prop=
number of props=2
power main= 1,450 hp
power alt= 1,081 kW
power original=
max speed main=216 mph
max speed alt= 348 km/h
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 1,307 mi
range alt= 2,103 km
ceiling main= 24,800 ft
ceiling alt= 7,559 m
climb rate main= 1,355 ft/min
climb rate alt= 413 m/min
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=

ee also


* DHC-5 Buffalo
* Dash 7
* Dash 8

similar aircraft=
*Transall C-160
*Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer

see also=




* Andrade, John. "Militair 1982". London: Aviation Press, 1982. ISBN 0-907898-01-7.
* [ "Caribou Roster" at the "deHavilland Caribou (DHC-4) and Buffalo (DHC-5) web site"]
* [ The C-7A Caribou Association]
* Hotson, Fred W. "The de Havilland Canada Story." Toronto: CANAV Books, 1983. ISBN 0-07-549483-3.
* [ "Kuwait Air Force (KAF)"] entry at the "Scramble" magazine website
* [ "Malaysian Forces Overview"] entry at the "Scramble" magazine website
* [ "Royal Air Force of Oman"] entry at the "Scramble" magazine website

External links

* [ C-7 / CV-2 Caribou]
* [ DHC-4T Turbo Caribou Imagery]
* [ Replacing the Caribou: the Tango Charlie Option (DHC-4T) - Defence Today]
* [ Bush planes]

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