Sydney Seaplanes


The Cessna company traces its history to June 1911, when Clyde Cessna, a farmer in Rago, Kansas, built a wood-and-fabric plane and became the first person to build and fly an aircraft between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. Yet it was Clyde's nephew, Dwane Wallace, who was the person most responsible for the company's success.

Cessna Aircraft Company closed its doors from 1932-1934 due to the poor state of the US economy. In 1934, Dwane Wallace, with the help of his brother Dwight, took control of the company and began the process of building it into a global success.

After World War II, Cessna created the C170, which, along with later models (notably the C172), became the most widely produced light aircraft in history. Cessna's advertising claims that its aircraft have trained more pilots than those of any other company.

Our Cessna Caravan C208 is a 2007 model and registered VH-SXF. We picked the aircraft up from Cessna's factory in Wichita Kansas and flew it to Wipaire Inc. in St Paul Minnesota where Wipline 8000 amphibious floats were fitted. The aircraft was then flown to Sydney via Los Angeles, Hawaii, Christmas Island, American Samoa and Noumea, a journey taking approximately 60 hours.

The Caravan is the largest single-engine float plane currently manufactured and has proven itself to be one of the most reliable, cost effective and, most importantly, safest aircraft ever built. The amphibious floats offer the ultimate in flexibility and allow us to fly to any suitable water or runway landing area from our base in Sydney Harbour.

General Characteristics
Crew: one pilot
Capacity: 12 passengers
Length: 11.9m (39ft)
Wingspan: 15.9m (52ft)
Height: 5 m (16ft)
Empty: 2350 kg (5170 lb)
Loaded: 3800 kg (8360 lb)
Useful load: 1450 kg (3190 lb)
Powerplant: 1 PT6A- 114A, 675hp (560 kW)

Cruise speed: 300 km/h (160 kts)
Range: 1463 km (790nm)
Service ceiling: 20,000 ft
Rate of climb: 1,110 ft/min


The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver is one of the most famous sea planes in the world. After World War II, de Havilland Canada was looking to produce a seaplane suited to operations in the rugged Canadian north. After extensive consultation with pilots, they began production of the Beaver - a reliable, single-engine monoplane that could be easily fitted with wheels, skis, or floats.

The maiden flight of the Beaver took place on the 16th of August 1947, with the first aircraft being delivered in April of 1948. The plane was an immediate success within the Canadian aviation community, and when production finally ceased in 1967, 1,657 DHC-2 Beavers had been built. The Beaver has become a symbol of the Canadian north and in 1988 the aircraft was placed in the top 10 most influential Canadian developments in history. It has since found use as a sea plane all over the world.

The type is also used for aerial application (crop dusting and aerial topdressing), and has been widely used by armed forces as a utility aircraft; the U.S. Army Air Corps purchased several hundred. A Royal New Zealand Air Force Beaver supported Sir Edmund Hillary's expedition to the South Pole. Despite the fact that production ceased nearly forty years ago, hundreds of Beavers are still flying - many of them heavily modified to adapt to changes in technology and needs.

Although there have been rumours of Canadian companies manufacturing new Beavers, it remains an out-of-production aircraft. Typically in Australia, a DHC-2 Beaver in good condition on floats can be purchased for around $600,000. Harrison Ford owns a DHC-2 Beaver (registered N28S), and has commented that it is his favourite among his sizable fleet of private aircraft.

General Characteristics
Crew: one pilot
Capacity: 7 passengers
Length: 9.22 m (30 ft 3 in)
Wingspan: 14.63 m (48 ft 0 in)
Height: 2.74 m (9 ft 0 in)
Wing area: 23.2 m² (250 ft²)
Empty: 1,600 kg (3,520 lb)
Loaded: 2,310 kg (5,100 lb)
Useful load: 710 kg (1,580 lb)
Powerplant: 1 Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Jr. radial engine, 450 hp (335 kW)

Maximum speed: 255 km/h (158 mph)
Range: 732 km (455 miles)
Service ceiling: 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
Rate of climb: 1,020 ft/min (5.2 m/s)

Our de Havilland Beavers are registered VH-AAM and VH-NOO with serial numbers 1492, 1535.

VH-AAM began service with the Ghanaian Air Force on the 10th of November 1961 and was operated there until its delivery to Australia in 1976. Its time in Australia has been varied, initially being operated as a sea plane by Aqua-Flite in Cairns then as an agricultural 'topdresser' for Aerial Agriculture from Bankstown Airport. It was at this time that it was given its current registration (the AA standing for Aerial Agriculture). It was then operated for a number of years as a seaplane by Air Whitsundays from Hamilton Island before moving to Sydney Seaplanes in 2003.

VH-NOO was delivered to Australia new on the 19th of November 1963. It flew as a top dresser in Moorrabin until 1997 until being purchased by Sydney Seaplanes. It has been operated as a seaplane in Sydney since then.

Much loved by the team at Sydney Seaplanes all of our Beavers have been completely refurbished, with leather seats throughout, new instrumentation and a snazzy new paint job! We now offer a level of luxury unrivalled by any of these classic aircraft throughout Australia.