Pilatus PC-6 Porter

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 continues in production at Pilatus Flugzeugwerke in Stans, Switzerland. It has been built in both piston engine and turboprop powered versions and was produced for a time by Fairchild Hiller in the United States.

Pilatus PC-6 Porter
Class Aircraft
Type Utility
Manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft
Origin Switzerland
Country Name Origin Year
Switzerland 1959
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Angola View
Argentina View
Austria View
Chad View
Ecuador View
Iran (Persia) View
Mexico View
Peru View
Slovenia View
Switzerland View
Thailand (Siam) View
United States of America View
Myanmar View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Pilatus Aircraft 1959 581 View

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).

The Porter was also manufactured under license by Fairchild Hiller in the United States during the early 1970s for operations during the Vietnam War. It received the designation AU-23A Peacemaker for service with the U.S. Air Force and UV-20 Chiricahua for service with the U.S. Army. The Peacemaker was fitted with a side-firing 20mm XM-197 Gatling cannon, four wing pylons and a centre fuselage station for external ordnance, but proved to be troublesome in service; all aircraft were returned to the U.S. for storage after one year of operations.


  • PC-6/340 Porter
  •     PC-6/340-H1 Porter
  •     PC-6/340-H2 Porter
  • PC-6/350 Porter
  •     PC-6/350-H1 Porter
  •     PC-6/350-H2 Porter
  • PC-6/A Turbo-Porter
  • PC-6/A1 Turbo-Porter
  • PC-6/A2 Turbo-Porter
  • PC-6/B Turbo-Porter
  • PC-6/B1 Turbo-Porter
  • PC-6/B2-H2 Turbo-Porter
  • PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo-Porter
  • PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo-Porter
  • Pilatus PC-6/ B2-H4 in flight
  • PC-6/C Turbo-Porter
  • PC-6/C1 Turbo-Porter
  • PC-6/C2-H2 Porter
  • PC-6/D-H3 Porter
  • A Fairchild Porter
  • AU-23A Peacemaker 
  • OV-12
  • UV-20A Chiricahua
  • PC-8D Twin Porter

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.

Role STOL Passenger and utility aircraft
Manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft
Built by Fairchild Aircraft
First flight Porter - 4 May 1959
Turbo-Porter - 2 May 1961.
Status Active service, in production
Primary users Civil aviation
Austrian Air Force, Myanmar Air Force, Swiss Air Force
Produced 1959-present
Number built 581 (As of August 2014)
Variants Fairchild AU-23 Peacemaker

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)

End notes