Pilatus PC-6 B2/H4 Turbo Porter

In 1959 the Swiss aircraft manufacturing company Pilatus created the PC-6 Porter, a lightweight multi-purpose single-engine plane with a 340 hp Lycoming GSO-480 engine. The plane was only built in small numbers (72), but despite its apparent simplicity its design showed great potential for a variety of applications. Two years later appeared the PC-6/A Turbo Porter with a 520 hp Turbomeca Astazou turboprop engine which improved on its predecessor in every important respect. Later another engine was installed in the plane, the 550 hp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A. On both sides of the fuselage in this 'B' version, as well as sliding doors on each side, there were individual pilot's doors. As in the PC-6A the nose was straightened with an elongated shape in cross section. In the PC-6/B2-H2 modification a 680 horsepower engine was installed, which improved the capability of the aircraft even more.
The latest and most modern variant of the type is the PC-6/B2-H4, the main visual difference of which is the four blade airscrew, redesigned wingtips and also a more powerful engine. An additional option is the facility to install radar under the wing. Significant numbers of the PC-6/B2-H4 are still operated by the Air Forces of France, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil and other countries today. Their main task is to patrol highland or coastal areas where the topography is very rough. The ability of the PC-6 to set down and take to the air from sites poorly adapted for the purpose leaves it an uncontested choice for the Air Forces of those countries where such machines are a mandatory requirement for military service.
The turboprop PC-6 became popular very quickly among pilots, and the plane started being exported beyond the borders of Switzerland to many countries in different continents of the world. Nearly half a century after its debut flight the PC-6 is in military and civil service in many parts of the planet, being in good company with such renowned aircraft as the Piper Cub and the Antonov An-2, proving that sometimes an unassuming and seemingly simple design can outlast many of its more modern and more advanced 'colleagues'.


  1. Pilatus PC/B2-B4 s/n 890 ”MCD”, France-Army, France, June 2008.
  2. Pilatus PC/B2-B4 s/n 891”MCE”, France-Army, France, June 2005.
Performances
Span 15,2m
Length 10,9m
Height 3,2m
Wing area 30,15m2
Engine: Pratt Whitney Canada PT6A-27
Power 1x680kW
Maximum speed 231km/h
Combat cruising speed 213km/h
Service ceiling 620m
Crew One
Useful downloads: 7 - 10 Passenger or 2 wounded on stretchers and two attendants