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PC-6 Porter/Turbo-Porter
A PC-6 Turbo-Porter, B2-H4 PT6A-34 variant, used for skydiving in Spain
Role STOL Passenger and utility aircraft
Manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft
Built by Fairchild Aircraft
First flight Porter - 4 May 1959
Turbo-Porter - 1961.
Status Active Service, In Production
Primary users Civil aviation
Austrian Air Force, Myanmar Air Force, Swiss Air Force
Produced 1959- 2019
Number built 993 (as of March 2018)[1]
Variants Fairchild AU-23 Peacemaker

The Pilatus PC-6 Porter is a single-engined Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) utility aircraft designed by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. First flown in 1959, the PC-6 has been built in both piston engine and turboprop powered versions, and has been built both by Pilatus and by Fairchild Hiller in the United States. It remains in production as of August 2011.

Design and development

A PC-6/350 Porter

The first prototype made its maiden flight on 4 May 1959[2] powered by a 254 kW (340-shp) piston engine. The first Turbo Porter, powered by a turboprop, flew in 1961. The Turbo Porter received an engine upgrade in 1963, which increased its power to its present value of 410 kW (550-shp). In the United States, the Porter was manufactured under license by Fairchild Hiller. In service with the U.S. Air Force, it received the designation AU-23A Peacemaker. In U.S. Army use, it was designated UV-20 Chiricahua.

Operational history

A Fairchild AU-23 in a steep climb

The PC-6 is noted for its Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) performance on almost any type of terrain - it can take off within a distance of 640 feet (195 m) and land within a distance of 427 feet (130 m) while carrying a payload of 2,646 lbs (1,200 kg). Thanks to its STOL performance, the PC-6 holds the world record for highest landing by a fixed-wing aircraft, at 18,865 feet (5,750 m), on the Dhaulagiri glacier in Nepal. Due to these characteristics, they are frequently used to access short grass mountaintop airstrips in the highlands of Papua Province (Indonesia) and Papua New Guinea.


PC-6/340 Porter
Initial production version, powered by a 254-kW (340-hp) Lycoming GSO-480-B1A6 flat-six piston engine. Max take-off weight 1,960 kg (4,320 lb).[2]
PC-6/340-H1 Porter
As PC-6/340, but with modified landing gear and increased weight (2,016 kg (4,444 lb)).[2]
PC-6/340-H2 Porter
As for H-2, but with maximum take-off weight increased to 2,200 kg (4,850 lb).[2]
PC-6/350 Porter
As PC-6/340, but powered by a 261 kW (350 hp) Lycoming IGO-540-A1A piston engine.[2]
PC-6/350-H1 Porter
As for /340 H1 but with O-540 engine.[2]
PC-6/350-H2 Porter
As for 340 H2 with O-540 engine.[2]
PC-6/A Turbo-Porter
Initial turboprop powered version, fitted with a 390 kW (523 shp) Turboméca Astazou IIE or IIG turboprop engine.[2]
PC-6/A1 Turbo-Porter
This 1968 version was powered by a 427-kW (573-shp) Turbomeca Astazou XII turboprop engine.
PC-6/A2 Turbo-Porter
This 1971 version was powered by a 427-kW (573-shp) Turbomeca Astazou XIVE turboprop engine.
PC-6/B Turbo-Porter
This version was powered by a 410-kW (550-shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-6A turboprop engine.
PC-6/B1 Turbo-Porter
Similar to the PC-6/B, but fitted with a 410-kW (550-shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20 turboprop engine.
PC-6/B2-H2 Turbo-Porter
Fitted with a 507-kW (680-shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 turboprop engine.

PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo-Porter

PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo-Porter
The B2-H4 has improved airframe structuring and extended, upturned wingtips.
PC-6/C Turbo-Porter
One prototype built by Fairchild Industries in the USA, powered by a 429-kW (575-shp) Garrett TPE331-25D turboprop engine.
PC-6/C1 Turbo-Porter
Similar to the PC-6/C, but fitted with a 429-kW (575-shp) Garrett TPE 331-1-100 turboprop engine.
PC-6/C2-H2 Porter
Developed by Fairchild Industries in the USA. It was powered by a 485-ekW (650-ehp) Garrett TPE 331-101F turboprop engine.
PC-6/D-H3 Porter
One prototype, fitted with a 373-kW (500-hp) avco Lycoming turbocharged piston engine.

A Fairchild Porter

AU-23A Peacemaker
Armed gunship, counter-insurgency, utility transport version for the U.S. Air Force. It was used during the Vietnam War in the early 1970s. 35 were built under licence in the USA by Fairchild Industries. All aircraft were sold to Royal Thai Air Force.
Designation for U.S. version, cancelled 1979.
UV-20A Chiricahua
STOL utility transport version for the U.S. Army. Two UV-20As were based in West Berlin during the 1970s and 1980s.
PC-8D Twin Porter
Twin-engined version flown in 1967, but not subsequently developed.


Current military operators

 Burma (Myanmar)
United States

Former Military operators

  • Australian Army Aviation - 19 Turbo-Porters were in service with Australian Army from 1968 to 1992.
    • 6th Aviation Regiment (Australia)
      • 173rd Surveillance Squadron (Australia)
    • No. 161 Independent Reconnaissance Flight
    • No. 163 Independent Reconnaissance Flight
    • No. 171 Air Cavalry Flight
    • School Army Aviation
FlagofBophuthatswana.png Bophuthatswana
 South Africa
 United Arab Emirates
United States

Law Enforcement operators

  • Royal Malaysian Police
  • Royal Oman Police
 South Africa
  • South African Police Service

Civil operators

Continental Air Services PC-6 Porter in Laos, ca. 1970

  • Mission Aviation Fellowship
  • Yajasi Aviation
  • Susi Air
  • Thomas Air
  • Yeti Airlines
 New Zealand
  • Mount Cook Airlines
 Papua New Guinea
  • Mission Aviation Fellowship
  • Thai Ministry of Agriculture
United States

Former civil operators

  • National Hidrological Service
  • National Ambulance Service

Accidents and incidents

  • 26 December 1999 A Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo porter registration HB-FKJ[14] crashed near Turin. Because of heavy turbulance a wing broke causing the plane to crash, the 2 people aboard died.
  • 30 May 2008 A Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo porter registration EC-JXH[15] crashed near Toledo. After going into a stall, the plane's left wing broke causing to open the door, and because of this 9 skydivers jumped out and survived. One skydiver and the pilot died in the crash.
  • 19 October 2013: A Pilatus PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo Porter registration OO-NAC[16] carrying 10 skydivers (instructors and students) and a pilot, lost height and impacted terrain at Fernelmont some ten minutes after take-off from nearby Namur-Suarlée Airport (EBNM), Belgium, all aboard died. The aircraft (S/N 710) was built in 1969 and had been rebuilt in 2002 by Pilatus Flugzeugwerke following a take-off accident at Moorsele (EBMO) on 12 March 2000.[17]

Specifications (PC-6 B2 Turbo-Porter)

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–1994[18]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Capacity: up to ten passengers
  • Payload: 1,130 kg (2,491 lb)
  • Length: 11.00 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.87 m (52 ft 0¾ in)
  • Height: 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 30.15 m² (324.5 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: NACA 64-514
  • Aspect ratio: 8.4:1
  • Empty weight: 1,270 kg (2,800 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 2,800 kg (6,173 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 turboprop, 410 kW (550 shp)(downrated from 507 kW (680 shp))


  • Never exceed speed: 280 km/h (151 knots, 174 mph)
  • Maximum speed: 232 km/h[19] (125 knots, 144 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 213 km/h (115 knots, 132 mph) at 3,050 m (10,000 ft)
  • Stall speed: 96 km/h (52 knots, 60 mph) (flaps down, power off)
  • Range: 730 km (394 nmi, 453 mi)with maximum payload
  • Ferry range: 1,612 km(870 nmi, 1,002 mi)with maximum internal and underwing fuel
  • Service ceiling: 8,197 m (25,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 4.8 m/s (941 ft/min)

See also


  1. Herzig, Marcus. "PC-6 Production List". 27 August 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Taylor 1965, pp. 126–127.
  3. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 33.
  4. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 34.
  5. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 44.
  6. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 36.
  7. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 37.
  8. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 40.
  9. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 43.
  10. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 45.
  11. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 47.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 49.
  13. Hoyle Flight International 13–19 December 2011, p. 51.
  14. Aviaton Safety Network #30298
  15. Aviaton Safety Network #20232
  16. Pilatus PC-6 Porter S/N 710 history
  17. ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 161542
  18. Lambert 1993, pp. 358–359.
  19. Taylor 1999, p. 489.
  • Hoyle, Craig. "World Air Forces Directory". Flight International, Vol 180 No 5321, 13–19 December 2011. pp. 26–52. ISSN 0015-3710.
  • Lambert, Mark. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1993–1994. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Data Division, 1993. ISBN 0-7106-1066-1.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Janes's All The World's Aircraft 1965–66. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1965.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000 Edition. London: Brassey's, 1999. ISBN 1-85753-245-7.
  • Aircraft-Safety.NET

External links

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