de Havilland (Canada) DHC-2 Beaver

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Adrian M Balch Illustrator: Sam Pearson
978-1- 739219048
Other Publication Information
Soft Square Bound, 8.25” x 11.75”, 56 pages (Including Covers)
Product / Stock #
Provided by: Guideline Publications - Website: Visit Site

Guideline Publications Guideline Publications is the UK's leading publisher of modeling and hobby-related magazines. With a world-class portfolio of titles and an international Social Media presence, Guideline Publications has a dedicated readership that is constantly expanding into new areas.

Adrian M. Balch graduated from Swindon College in 1969 and began working as an assistant publicity manager for a metallurgist company, where he produced brochures and edited the company’s magazine. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1971 and served for 22 years as an Air Traffic Controller around the world. His interest in aviation photography led to his contributions to leading aviation magazines, with his first article published in December 1966. He has also worked with BBC TV and ITN as well as producing publicity calendars and postcards for the aviation industry. He has amassed a collection of over 350,000 color photographs in addition to an even larger number of digital images. This is at least his thirteenth aviation enthusiast book to be published. 1986 saw his first book published by Airlife Publishing Ltd, Aerobatic Teams of the World. Balch followed with Vintage Glory - aircraft color schemes of the '50s and '60s; Airline Nostalgia"; "The Boeing 727; Testing Colors - aircraft of the A&AEE, RAE and ETPS; and De Havilland Twin Booms - the Vampire, Venom & Sea Vixen. Balch has also worked in the Warpaint Series, including: The Hunting Jet Provost & Strikemaster, The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, The de Havilland Tiger Moth, The Sikorsky S-55 Chickasaw & Westland Whirlwind, the DHC-1 Chipmunk, and The Westland Scout & Wasp.

Warpaint's latest is their standard A4 format softbound publication that is 52 pages, not including the covers. Sam Pearson contributes eight pages of illustrations that includes 48 color side-profiles, seven scrap color illustrations focused on badges, along with five upper and three lower plan views. Sam Pearson also provides two pages of 1/72 line drawings showing top, bottom, front views, and six side profiles. I counted 148 color photographs and 18 black and white photographs. The front cover features a Sam Pearson color side profile of Beaver AL.1, XP779 serving with No. 669 Squadron Army Air Corps, RAF Wildenrath in 1971. Dayglo markings were over a Dark Earth and Dark Green camouflage for this DHC-2 Beaver manufactured in 1960 [c/n 1450]. She is currently on display at the Historic Flight Foundation Museum at Paine Field, Everett, Washington marked as USAF 52-6132. The lower color photograph shows a pair of U.S. Army L-20A Beavers. The foreground L-20A is in standard Artic colors with the rear L-20A in standard gloss Olive Drab circa 1956. L-20A 53-2817, delivered March 16 1954, is currently on display in gloss Olive Drab markings at the California Army National Guard Museum in San Luis Obispo, California.

Adrian M. Balch opens with an overview of the design and development of the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver. The ending of World War II spurred the management of de Havilland Canada to look at the civilian aviation market. Gathering input from pilots, they decided on a heavy-duty single engine aircraft that would serve the needs of bush pilots. STOL performance and easy adaptability to skis or floats was key. Pratt & Whitney Canada offered to supply 450 hp Wasp Junior radial engines providing more power that originally envisioned. First flight was achieved August 16, 1947. Production ran from 1947 to 1967 with 1,657 aircraft being manufactured. Interestingly, production of the Beaver was not stopped due to a lack of orders, but rather an executive decision to focus all resources on a new commercial airliner program. Operational service was seen in at least 35 countries.

Page 10 illustrates an all-red Beaver in service with the Argentine Air Force. One Argentine Beaver has survived and is on display in Buenos Aires. Four Beavers were in Australian Air Force National Antarctic Research Expedition service, one of which can are at the bottom of the page. The black and white photograph shows A95-201 with skis with the bottom color photograph showing the same aircraft after being repainted and equipped with floats. Page 20 depicts ZK-CMW as flown at airshows to represent NX6001 that was lost during the 1956 New Zealand Trans Antarctic Expedition that supported Sir Edmund Hillary’s South Pole venture. As flown now in 2023, the Beaver is painted a deeper red than the orange red that was used on NX6001. The lower three-color photographs are of the Oman Air Force’s Beavers. They were originally delivered to Oman in overall white with a red flash, still carrying their British serial numbers. The early 70’s saw them repainted in the standard British Army dark green and dark earth camouflage. Note the spraying gear on the Oman Beaver at the bottom of the page.

Looking to add additional power, de Havilland Canada began looking at turboprops, finally going with the 680 hp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 engine. More power and a lighter engine permitted an extra section to the fuselage adding two more passenger seats and greater fuel capacity. The Turbo Beaver prototype, or Beaver III, can be seen at the top of page 36 during a January 1965 flight. The color photograph at the bottom of the page shows the prototype during float trials in April 1966. A standard feature for Guideline’s Warpaint series is the In Detail section as seen on Page 42. Notable are the instrument panel details of AL.1, XP820, part of the Army Aircraft Historic Flight in 2022. The Day-Glo Orange strips are shown to good effect in photo 14 at the upper left of the page. Page 48 provides six examples of the beautiful color profiles by Sam Pearson. Notable is the third color illustration from the top which is F-117A 82-0806, the only Nighthawk that was lost to enemy action. A bonus is the inclusion of two pages on the Northrop YF-117D Tacit Blue that is on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton, even though it really is not related to the Nighthawk.

The Chapters include:

  • Design and Development
  • Into Production
  • Beaver Mk 2
  • In Military Service
  • In Service With:
    • Argentina
      • Argentine Naval Aviation
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Cambodia
    • Chile
    • Columbia
    • Cuba
    • Dominican Republic
    • Finland
    • France
    • Ghana
    • Greece
    • Haiti
    • Indonesia
    • Iran
    • Kenya
    • Laos
    • Netherlands
    • New Zealand
    • Oman
    • Pakistan
    • Panama
    • Paraguay
    • Peru
    • Philippines
      • Philippine Navy
    • South Korea, Republic of Korea Air Force
    • South Vietnam
    • South Yemen (South Arabian Federation)
    • Taiwan (Republic of China Army Aviation)
    • Thailand (Royal Thai Army)
    • Turkey
    • Uganda
    • United Kingdom
      • Color Schemes and Markings
    • United States
      • US Army
      • United States Air Force
      • United States Navy
      • Civil Air Patrol
    • Yugoslavia
    • Zambia
  • In Civilian Service
    • Turbo Beaver
    • Modifications
    • Variants and Designations
  • … And Finally
  • Specifications for Standard DHC-2 Beaver [Table]
  • DHC-2 Beaver In Detail [Page ]
  • de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver 1/72 Drawings by Sam Pearson
  • de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver Color Profiles by Sam Pearson

The de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver has been issued in 1/12, 1/24, and 1/36, all of which are collectors kits now. Hobbycraft has issued the Beaver in 1/48 scale in two releases. One with floats and the other with wheels or skis with the New Tool issue in 1999. Dora Wings had announced a 1/48 DHC-2 kit for 2022 but it has yet to see the light of day. Airfix released a New Tool Beaver in 1971 that has been re-released over the years in both wheeled, skis, and float versions. Hobbycraft issued their version in 1988 with a New Tool that also included options for wheels, skis, and float versions. Lift Here Models released resin kits of modified Beavers in 2015 (Turbo Beaver), 2016 (Mark III), 2017 (Pirate Beaver), and 2019 (Kroonduif Beaver). Dora Wings had announced a 1/72 DHC-2 kit in 2022, but again, it has yet to be released.

I was able to read Adrian M. Balch’s monograph over two days. The text is well supplemented with very clear photographs with good captions. Sam Pearson provides well executed color side profiles and the 1/72-line drawings. This is a nice reference on the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver and would be a handy addition to your reference library. If you are building any of the standard scale model kits, I would consider this edition essential as an aide to your build. If you own any of the previous releases in the Warpaint series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.

My thanks to Guideline Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great monograph.


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