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Pilatus PC-6

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,


PC-6 Porter/Turbo-Porter
A Fairchild Porter, a licensed version of the Turbo Porter
Role STOL Passenger and utility aircraft
Manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft
First flight Porter - 4 May 1959
Turbo Porter - 1961.
Primary users Civil aviation
United States Air Force
United States Army

The Pilatus PC-6 Porter is a civilian utility aircraft built by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland.

Design and development

The first prototype made its maiden flight on 4 May 1959 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

Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter, B2-H4 PT6A-34 variant, used for skydiving in Spain
Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter, B2-H4 PT6A-34 variant, used for skydiving in Spain

The PC-6 is famous in the aviation world for its Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) performance on almost any type of terrain - it can take-off within a distance of 195 metres (640 ft) and land within a distance of 130 metres (427 ft) while carrying a payload of 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) (The length of a soccer field is enough, Pilatus test pilots were able to land on not much more than 50 metres (164 ft) of space). Thanks to its STOL performance, the PC-6 holds the world record for highest landing by a fixed wing aircraft, at 5,750 metres (18,865 ft), on the Dhaulagiri glacier in Nepal.


PC-6 Porter
Initial production version, powered by a 254-kW (340-hp) Avco Lycoming GSO-480-B1A6 flat-six piston engine.
Improved version of the PC-6, powered by a 261-kW (350-hp) Avco Lycoming IGO-540-A1A piston engine.
PC-6/A Turbo-Porter
Initial turboprop powered version, fitted with a 320-kW (523-shp) Turbomeca Astazou IIE or IIG turboprop engine.
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-6B2-H2 Turbo-Porter
Fitted with a 507-kW (680-shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 turboprop engine.
PC-6/C Turbo-Porter
One prototype built by Fairchild Industries in the USA, powered by a 429-kW (575-shp) Garrett TPE-331-25D 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.
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.
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-8 Twin Porter
Twin-engined version flown in 1967, but not subsequently developed.


Fairchild AU-23A
Fairchild AU-23A "Peacemaker" at Eglin AFB, Florida during 1972

Military operators

 Burma (Myanmar)
 United States

Law Enforcement operators

 South Africa

Civil operators

Continental Air Service PC-6 Porter in Laos, ca. 1970
Continental Air Service PC-6 Porter in Laos, ca. 1970
 New Zealand
 United States

Specifications (PC-6 B2 Turbo Porter)

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Capacity: up to ten passengers
  • Payload: 1530 kg (3,366 lb)
  • Length: 11.00 m (36 ft 1 in (11.0 m))
  • Wingspan: 15.9 m (52 ft (16 m))
  • Height: 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 28.8 m² (310 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 1270 kg (2,800 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 2800 kg (6,173 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,770 kg (6,108 lb)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 turboprop, 410 kW (550 shp)


See also

Comparable aircraft

External links

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

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