TYPE: STOL tactical transport
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
POWERPLANTS: DHC-5D - Two 2335kW (3133shp) General Electric CT64-820-4 turboprops driving three bladed propellers.
PERFORMANCE: DHC-5D - Max cruising speed 467km/h (252kt). Max initial rate of climb 2330ft/min. Service ceiling 31,000ft. Takeoff run with a 5445kg (12,000lb) payload 290m (950ft). Max range with ferry tanks 6115km (3300nm).
WEIGHTS: DHC-SD - Operating empty 11,410kg (25,160lb), max takeoff weight from an unprepared strip 18,597kg (41,000lb), max takeoff from prepared strip 22,315kg (49,200lb).
DIMENSIONS: DHC-5D - Wing span 29.26m (96ft Oin), length 24.08m (79ft Oin), height 8.73m (28ft 8in). Wing area 87.8m2 (945sq ft).
ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two pilots plus loadmaster. Cabin can seat 41 equipped troops, or 35 paratroops, or 24 stretcher patients and six medical attendants. Max payload 8165kg (18,000lb). Max airdroppable unit 2720kg (6000lb).
OPERATORS: Cameroon, Canada, Ecuador, Kenya, Mauritania, Mexico, Peru, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zaire, Zambia, UAE.
HISTORY: The Buffalo is a turboprop powered development of the earlier Caribou, and was developed specifically to meet a 1962 US Army requirement.
The US Army selected the Buffalo for development ahead of 24 other contenders for the STOL transport requirement. Funding for the development of the DHC-5 (initially called Caribou II) was split equally between de Havilland Canada, the Canadian Government and the US Army. The resulting aircraft was closely based on the Caribou, but introduced two General Electric CT64 turboprops, an increased maximum lift coefficient, a T tail and a significantly higher max takeoff weight.
The US Army funded the development of four CV-7A evaluation Buffalos, the first of which flew for the first time on April 9 1964. Unfortunately for de Havilland Canada, the same change of US policy that saw the US Army transfer its CV-2s to the US Air Force saw the cancellation of plans to procure production CV-7s. The four CV-7As were thus transferred to the USAF as the C-8.
A Canadian Armed Forces order for 15 CC-113 Buffalos for search and rescue saved the program from an uncertain future, and export orders soon flowed in (the first coming from Brazil). In all 59 Buffalos were built through to 1972 when production ceased for the first time. Proposed but unbuilt Buffalo variants were the DHC-5B with CT64- P4Cs and the DHC-5C with either CT64-P4Cs or Rolls-Royce Darts. DHC reopened the Buffalo line in 1974 when it introduced the improved DHC-5D. The DHC-5D features more powerful CT64-820-4S (in place of the DHC-5A's 2280kW (3055ehp) CT64-820-1s), increasing payload range. DHC-5D production continued for a number of overseas customers through to 1986, by which time total Buffalo production reached 126.