The Pilatus PC-6 Porter is a single-engined STOL utility aircraft designed by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. First flown in 1959, the PC-6 was produced at Pilatus Flugzeugwerke in Stans, Switzerland. It has been built in both piston engine– and turboprop-powered versions and was produced under licence for a time by Fairchild Hiller in the United States. After around 600 deliveries in six decades, Pilatus produced the last one in early 2019.
On 4 May 1959, the first prototype, powered by a 254 kW (340 shp) piston engine, made its maiden flight. In early May 1961, the first Turbo Porter, powered by a Turbomeca Astazou II turboprop engine, performed its initial flight. In comparison to its earlier piston engine-powered incarnation, the Astazou II-equipped Turbo Porter had an increased gross capacity and top speed, as well as benefitting from the engine’s automatic handling functions. These benefits came at the expense of a greater initial purchase cost and higher fuel consumption. Both the piston and turbine-engine versions of the PC-6 became quickly known for their Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) capabilities, requiring only a very short takeoff run before being ready for rotation prior to taking off.
|Role||STOL passenger and utility aircraft|
|First flight||Porter – 4 May 1959|
Turbo-Porter – 2 May 1961.
|Primary users||Civil aviation|
Austrian Air Force, Myanmar Air Force, Swiss Air Force
|Number built||595 (As of August 2017)|
|Variants||Fairchild AU-23 Peacemaker|
The company was established on 10 December 1939 by the armament company Oerlikon-Bührle, and construction of a new production building started in March 1940. The company was formed to do maintenance and repairs for the Swiss Air Force, the first work of the new company was assembly of EKW C-35 reconnaissance biplanes from spare parts, and overhaul work on other types