The Kenmore Beaver
With a fleet of 25 aircraft providing scheduled daily flights to the San Juan Islands (as well as British Columbia) with the option of charter services, connecting to mainland terminals at Kenmore, Lake Union, and Boeing Field, Kenmore Air is a viable, efficient, convenient, and affordable option for trips to and from Seattle. Additionally, many island homeowners opt to have an “island car” in order to commute via Kenmore either on floats or to the various airstrips in the islands.
While the Kenmore fleet consists of five different aircraft, a long time favorite is the de Havillland Beaver — technically known as the piston Beaver. The distinct sound of a Beaver on floats lifting off the water is very common here in the San Juans. In addition to being the mainstay of the Kenmore fleet, there are approximately 60 privately owned Beavers in Washington State. Considered to be one of the most perfectly designed small utility aircraft ever built, the Beaver is a rugged single-engine high wing monoplane with short take-off and landing capability and a range of up to 800 miles.
Production ceased on the Beaver in 1967, but with so many still flying, heavy modifications to adapt to changing technology are provided by our very own Kenmore Air. Indeed, these modifications are so desirable, the aviation community refers to these rebuilt Beavers as “Kenmore Beavers”! To say that Kenmore maintains their planes is an understatement.
With an eclectic mix of piston Beavers as well as turbine Otters and Caravans, Kenmore Air is, without question, among the most respected floatplane operations in the world. Family owned and operated and founded in 1946 with a business philosophy of “do the right thing”, many would agree, the island experience is not complete without a flight on a Kenmore Beaver.