Beaver, History Flying

Kenmore Beavers by Tara Brown

At Kenmore Air, our pilots fly a variety of planes: the Otter, the Cessna, and the Cessna Caravan (a member of Kenmore Air Express, our wheeled plane division). But no plane among our line holds a more distinguished place in our fleet than the Beaver.

They’re not young planes. They’re not young by a long shot. Beavers haven’t been made since 1967. And yet, pilots still love them. Why? Because no one makes them like this anymore.

As part of the de Havilland Canada Company series, the Beaver is considered one of the sturdiest. This is in no small part to it’s thick wing design and powerful, reliable 450 horsepower Pratt Whitney R-985 radial engine. Crafted to be both a seaplane and a wheeled plane, they were put to use by the U.S. government during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

However, when the war stopped, the government began selling them. With no new planes on the market, Kenmore Air began buying and restoring Beavers. Stripping the planes down to their skeletons, Kenmore Air’s service department completely rebuilds each plane. Their work is so well respected the aviation community often refers to the refurbished beauties as Kenmore Beavers.  

Beavers at Kenmore Air by Tara Brown

We may be well known around Seattle for our planes buzzing the sky. But, the folks in our service department are rock stars too. It’s pretty amazing to think about how long these planes have been flying and the expertise it takes to keep them in the air.





  • Robert Morgenstern
    Posted October 26, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I love these planes. Have been fortunate enough to ride in several. It is a thrill just to heard that radial engine cough and start up. The Beaver is from another time but it stands right up with the so called modern aircraft. If I can just win the big lottery I am going to own one,hire a retired pilot and the two of us are going to fly, fly, fly. Do you have a picture of one?

    • Mikaela Cowles
      Posted October 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      They are something else Robert. It really is a thrill. Both images on this post are of beavers. They were taken by a good friend of mine not that long ago. Were you looking for something more specific?

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