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.
The PC-6 turboprop became popular among pilots very quickly, and it began
to sell well in Switzerland and was exported to many other countries. For a
long period of time it was used by the Air Forces of many countries on
different continents - from European Austria to distant Australia. But even
the longest-living and most successful aircraft designs eventually end
their service lives, and it is no wonder that in the mid 1990's the PC-6
was finally taken out of military service everywhere. Even after working hard
for so long in Air Force service, these airplanes had a chance for a second
life. So it was with the PC-6 - a large number of private enthusiasts from
different corners of the world dreamed of acquiring this airplane with
excellent performance and capability for civil use.
During the military service of the PC-6 there were some attempts to convert
it from wheeled to floatplane configuration, allowing it to land on water
surfaces. However, this adaptation had no appeal for the military in any of
the countries where the PC-6 was used. Nevertheless, some civil PC-6's were
fitted with floats and continued to be used in regions with extensive areas
of lakes and rivers at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century.