TP 55 - De Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou (1962-1965)

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During the evaluation of a future general transport aircraft for the Swedish Defence, a DHC-4 Caribou was hired during two and a half year. The aircraft was flown to Sweden by flight personnel from F 7 - the first transatlantic flight made by the Swedish Air Force.  

The Caribou was an aircraft which combined a good cargo capacity with STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) qualities. The rear ramp could also be opened in flight for parachuting men and equipment. The aircraft had proved its robust construction during the Vietnam War. The Caribou had a extra large front window which gave the flight crew a very good view. The aircraft could be flown by only one pilot if necessary. The high mounted wings kept propeller blades clear of any debris, important when operating form unprepared strips.

The Caribou, Swedish designation TP 55, was powered by two radial engines type Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7M2, each delivering 1.450 hp. 

The Army found the TP 55 a suitable transport aircraft for its needs. But the Air Force and the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces considered the aircraft too small. The Caribou was flown back to Canada and the considerable larger Lockheed C-130 Hercules was chosen as the new standard  air transport for the Swedish armed forces.   

Totally 307 Caribous were built, both for military and civil operators. A considerable number of Caribous were later converted into turboprops.  

The b/w photos shows the Swedish Caribou loading wing targets. Note the marking "7" which stands for Air Force Wing F 7 at Såtenäs.

Length: 22,12 m. Span: 29,15 m. MTOW: 12.928 kg. Max. speed: 335 km/h.


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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-07-15