Pilatus PC-6/B1-H2 Turbo Porter
In 1959 the Swiss company Pilatus Aircraft built a single-engined light utility aircraft, the PC-6 Porter, with a Lycoming GSO-480 340 h.p. engine. The aircraft was built in relatively small quantities (72 units), but its construction, despite its basic nature, had great potential for a variety of tasks. Two years later there appeared the PC-6A Turbo Porter with a 520 h.p. Turbomeca Astazou engine which was better than its predecessor in all major performance indicators. Later, another engine was installed in the aircraft - the 550 hp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A. Now there were individual pilot doors on both sides of the fuselage in the PC-6B version, in addition to sliding side doors, which facilitated departure from the airport or evacuation of the cockpit in the air in case of emergency. As in the PC-6A, the nose displayed a characteristic straight and elongated shape. In the modified PC-6/B2-H2 a 680 horsepower engine was installed, which greatly improved the aircraft's capabilities.
Apart from Switzerland, the PC-6 was used for a long time by the Air Force of its neighbour, Austria. Taking into consideration that Switzerland and Austria and most of their territories are geographically located in the Alpine zone, there was a constant variety of work for the PC-6. The aircraft's distinctive features made it possible to take off and land on short strips and in extreme conditions, for many tasks as well as its primary purpose as a light transport or liaison plane. The PC-6 often undertook the mission of border patrol; and air ambulance or rescue craft for climbers falling into difficulties in the Alps.One particular Austrian machine, 3G-EL, after some time in military service, was painted in a rather unusual scheme, the very opposite of camouflage. It depicted a bird like a griffin, in various bright colors over every surface - wings, fuselage, vertical and horizontal tail. This machine is very popular among spotters and each year it takes part in various air shows in different parts of Europe.
Half a century after its first flight, the PC-6 is still in military and civil service in many parts of the world, joining the same rare club as such famous aircraft as the Piper Cub or the Antonov AN-2, proving that sometimes a machine which at first sight seems basic and simple in design, can outlast many of its more sophisticated and advanced brethren.

  1. Pilatus PC-6/B2-H2 Turbo-Porter Der Bunte Fredi, w/n 777, built by 1977 Service in AAF since 02.1977, 4.sta/FLR1.
Span 49’10,5”
Length 35’9”
Height 10’6”
Wing area 310sq.ft
Weight, maximum gross 6,100lbs
Engine: Pratt Whitney Canada PT6A-20, 1x410kW
Maximum speed 138 knots
Combat cruising speed 116 knots
Range 500 nautical miles
Crew Two
in transport configuration, the aircraft could carry six passengers or five troops with field gear or one litter patient, three ambulatory patients and one medical attendant.