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In 1947, the Canadian branch of de Havilland developed an all-metal, high-wing monoplane with semi-cantilever wings, which was especially suited for the Canadian “bush” area, where it was often necessary to operate from small and rather bumpy fields. The Beaver, therefore, is a sturdy machine that can take off from small airfields and likewise needs only a limited landing-run. The prototype made its maiden flight on August 16th 1947.
In this country the Beaver was assigned, at Valkenburg at the end of 1956, to 334 (Transport) Squadron, which subsequently moved to Ypenburg. In 1966 the Beavers were transferred to 300 Squadron at Deelen, which formed part of the Light Aircraft Group (GPLV).The planes were used for a variety of tasks, such as transport missions, liaison flights and the like. When, in winter-time, the Wadden islands were isolated, the Air Force Beavers took care of the daily mail- and passenger communications with the mainland, just as the Austers had donepreviously! During very severe winters the aircraft were also used to feed birds trapped in the ice that were not able to feed themselves.
The Beaver can also be adapted for carrying sick or injured people; sufficient room for two stretchers is available. The Beaver was occasionally used for dropping paratroopers.