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PH-OTB Pilatus PC-6/H2 Porter c/n 518 - Paraclub Icarus - Hilversum airfield in Holland - 28 August 1993 vliegveld Hilversum (EHHV)

The Pilatus PC-6/H2-B4 Turbo Porter is a high-wing; single-engined STOL utility aircraft for 1 crew and up to 10 pax. The PC-6 ('Pilatus Commercial 6') was designed and built by Pilatus Flugzeugwerke in Stans, Switzerland. In the second half of the forties, Pilarus designed the P-4, a single-engined; high-wing metal and fabric five-seat utility aircraft with a fixed undercarriage that was flow first on 22 March 1948. No orders were gained for the type and the project was abandoned. Some eight years later, Pilatus tried again to produce a single-engined utility model and they completed the prototype of the STOL PC-6 Porter which drew heavely on the experience gained with the P-4. The PC-6 was an all-metal aircraft and, initialy powered by a 340 shp Lycoming piston engine. The prototype PC-6 Porter (s/n 337) registered HB-FAN was first flown on 4 May 1959. The PC-6 went in production in Stans in 1960, and quickly captured orders from all over the world due to its rugged construction and good short field performance. It was soon apparent that the Porter needed more power and this led to the PC-6?A powered by a 562 shp Turbomeca Astazou II E turboprop engine that was flown first on 2 May 1961. Subsequently, the piston powered PC-6 Porter was faded out and the aircraft was only offered as the turboprop powered PC-6 Turbo Porter. In 1965, Pilatus signed a licence production arrangement with Fairchild-Hiller of Germantown, PA, under which the PC-6 would be built by them for North American sale. A batch of ten iraframe sets was delivered to the United States to get production under way and, subsequently, Fairchild built a total of 78 'Heli Porters'. The majority of aircraft from both Stans and Germantown have been PC-6/B-H2 turbine powered aircraft, with the Astazou turboprop engine replaced by a United Aircraft of Canada PT6A-6 turboprop. At least a third of production PC-6 aircraft were delivered to military users. In 2013, Pilatus formed a joint venture with Beijing Tian Xing Jian Yu Science Co., Ltd. to locally manufacture the PC-6 and the newer Pilatus PC-12 in Chongqing, China. Initially this facility performed subassembly work on the fuselage, and later other elements such as the wings and moving surfaces, which were transported to Pilatus' final assembly facility in Stans, Switzerland. On 11 December 2014, the first Chinese-assembled PC-6 fuselage was completed. In 2022, after 63 years, the Pilatus PC-6 production came to an end with 603 aircraft built.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Pilatus PC-6 Porter is PC6P and for the PC-6 Turbo Porter PC6T.

    Pilatus PC-6 Porter / Turbo Porter Models:
  • PC-6/340 Porter — Initial production version, powered by a 340h shp Lycoming GSO-480-B1A6 flat-six piston engine. Max takeoff weight 1,960 kg.
  • PC-6/340-H1 Porter — as PC-6/340, with modified landing gear and increased take-off weight 2,016 kg.
  • PC-6/340-H2 Porter — as for H-1, with maximum takeoff weight increased to 2,200 kg.
  • PC-6/350 Porter — powered by a 350 shp Lycoming IGO-540-A1A piston engine.
  • PC-6/350-H1 Porter — as PC-6/340 H1, with a Lycoming O-540 piston engine.
  • PC-6/350-H2 Porter — as for PC-6/340 H2 with a Lycoming O-540 piston engine.
  • PC-6/A Turbo-Porter — Initial turboprop powered version, fitted with a 523 shp Turbomeca Astazou IIE turboprop engine.
  • PC-6/A1-H2 Turbo Porter — PC-6/A fitted with a Turbomeca Astazou IIG turboprop engine.
  • PC-6/A2-H2 Turbo Porter — PC-6/A fitted with a 573 shp Turbomeca Astazou XIVE turboprop engine.
  • PC-6/B Turbo Porter — PC-6/A fitted with a 550 shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-6A turboprop engine.
  • PC-6/B1-H2 Turbo Porter — PC-6/B fitted with a 550 shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20 turboprop engine.
  • PC-6/B2-H2 Turbo Porter — PC-6/B fitted with a 680 shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 turboprop engine.
  • PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo Porter — The B2-H4 has an improved airframe structuring and extended, upturned wingtips.
  • PC-6/C Turbo Porter — prototype built by Fairchild Industries, powered by a 575 shp Garrett TPE331-25D turboprop engine.
  • PC-6/C1-H2 Turbo Porter — PC-6/C fitted with a 575 shp Garret AiResearch TPE-331-1-100 turboprop engine.
  • PC-6/C2-H2 Turbo Porter — PC-6/C fitted with a 650 shp Garrett TPE 331-101F turboprop engine.
  • PC-6/D-H3 Turbo Porter — prototype with swept fin and a 500 shp Lycoming IO-720 turbocharged piston engine.
  • AU-23A Peacemaker — also known as OV-12: armed gunship, counter-insurgency, utility transport version for the U.S. Air Force. It was used during the Vietnam War in the early 1970s. 15 were built under licence in the USA by Fairchild Industries.
  • UV-20A Chiricahua — STOL utility transport version for the U.S. Army.

On 25 May 1961, Pilatus PC-6/H2 Porter s/n 518 was registered PH-OTB in the Netherlands with KLM NV, Den Haag. Porter PH-OTB entered service with KLM Aerocarto and replaced the De Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide PH-OTA. On 11 July 1972, after being retired from service with KLM Aerocarto, the PH-OTB was registered with Para Club Icarus at Hilversum airfield. On 5 February 1996, registration PH-OTB was cancelled. On 26 February 1996, the Porter was registered N6251U with Styles Aviation. On 19 May 1997, after the aircraft was sold to Icarius Aerotechnics in France, registration N6251U was cancelled and the Porter was modified to a PC-6/B2-H1 Turbo Porter with a 550shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20 turbo engine. On 18 February 1998, the aircraft was registered F-GMVS with Baulip Sports SaRL, Paris, as a PC-6/B1-H2. On 15 February 2001, after being modified to a PC-6/B2-H2 Turbo Porter with a 680shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 turbo engine, the F-GMVS was registered as a PC-6/B2-H2. On 9 February 2005, the F-GMVS was registered with OJB Parachutisme SaRL / Baulip Sports SaRL, aerodrome de Mimizan. On 2 February 2007, the F-GMVS was registered with OJB Parachutisme SaRL. On 17 July 2017, Pilatus PC-6/B2-H2 Turbo Porter F-GMVS was registered with Thalilow / Bispati.
On 28 August 1993, Pilatus PC-6/H2 Porter PH-OTB was seen at Hilversum airfield in service with Paraclub Icarus.

page last updated: 23-03-2020
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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