This month we feature a one-of-a-kind bird as our Aircraft of the Month. This truly unique Navajo Chieftain PA 31-350 features an original piece of art from by celebrated Canadian artist and storyteller Roy Henry Vickers as the tail art. Vickers said in a news release from Orca Airways that he has flown with the airline for years and used the ocean, the orca dorsal fin and the people as inspiration behind his design. Roy Henry Vickers is one of Canada's most celebrated artists, and a leader in the First Nations community who is best known for his painting and prints.
Orca Airways specializes in moving passengers between Vancouver and Vancouver Island and plans to feature the Vickers tail art on all their aircraft as part of a refurbishment plan for their entire fleet. In addition to the beautiful new exterior paint scheme and interior makeover.
Orca Airways also had its avionics equipment for their aircraft upgraded to Transport Canada's 2014 mandates.
The Navajo Chieftain PA 31-350 is a stretched out version of the Navajo that features more powerful engines that rotate in opposite directions. The Navajo aircraft were first introduced in 1967, and while production halted in 1984 they are still in heavy use worldwide.
Crew: 1 or 2
Capacity: 5 to 7 passengers
Length: 32 ft 7½ in (9.94 m)
Wingspan: 40 ft 8 in (12.40 m)
Height: 13 ft 0 in (3.96 m)
Wing area: 229 sq. ft (21.3 m²)
Empty Weight: 3,930 lb (1,782 kg)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 6,500 lb (2,948 kg)
Engine: 2 × Lycoming TIO - 540 air-cooled six-cylinder horizontally opposed piston engine, 350 hp each
Propellers: Two or three blade, metal, fully feathering, Hartzell propeller
Never Exceed Speed: 236 knots (438 km/h (272 mph))
Maximum Speed: 227 knots (420 km/h (260 mph)) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)
Cruise Speed: 207 knots (383 km/h (238 mph)) econ cruise at 20,000 ft (6,100 m)
Stall Speed: 63.5 knots (118 km/h (73 mph)) flaps down
Range: 1,011 nmi (1,875 km (1,165 mi))
Service Ceiling: 26,300 ft (8,015 m)
Rate of Climb: 1,445 ft/min (7.3 m/s)
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