De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, with head offices in Toronto, is an aircraft manufacturer. Incorporated in Ontario in 1928, the company manufactures the DE HAVILLAND OTTER (now Twin Otter), the Buffalo (a military plane) and the DE HAVILLAND DASH 7 and Dash 8 aircraft. During the 1970s the company experienced difficulty when commuter airlines did not create the high demand for Dash 7s that de Havilland had expected. In 1974 the federal government purchased the company from its British owners, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, and invested in research and development. But it was not until 1978, as airlines began facing deregulation in the US and higher fuel costs, that sales of the Dash 7 started to climb.
The Dash 8 Series 300, which appeared in 1988, was an extended version of the Series 100. The Series 200 went into production in 1995 and an 80-passenger Series 400 was in design. Continuing difficulties prompted government assistance in 1985 and in 1986 the company was sold to Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company of Seattle, Wash, for $155 million. In 1992, Bombardier and the Ontario government purchased the company from Boeing. It is now an integral component of Bombardier's Aerospace Group.