Pi­lot Notes

Pilot - - CONTENTS -

News and up­dates plus a re­port from the LAA Rally

Pi­la­tus is to stop man­u­fac­tur­ing its iconic Porter util­ity air­craft, which has been in con­tin­u­ous pro­duc­tion since 1959. Cur­rently the com­pany builds no more than ten Porters each year, and will cease pro­duc­tion al­to­gether in early 2019. Last or­ders must be re­ceived by mid-2018.

The pro­to­type PC-6 Porter, pow­ered by a 340hp Ly­coming GSO-480 pis­ton en­gine, first flew on 4 May 1959. The Tur­bomeca As­ta­zou PC-6A Turbo Porter fol­lowed in 1961, and in turn was re­placed by the Pratt & Whit­ney Canada Pt6a-pow­ered PC-6B. In the USA Fairchild-hiller built 575shp Gar­rett Tpe331-en­gined mod­els as ‘Heli-porters’. Pi­la­tus has pro­duced some 500 PC-6S, Fairchild-hiller, 92. The air­craft has served world­wide, ful­fill­ing a mul­ti­tude of roles on wheels, skis, floats and am­phibi­ous floats, and as the armed Fairchild AU-23 Peace­maker gun­ship.

Ex­plain­ing the de­ci­sion to stop pro­duc­tion, the man­u­fac­turer ex­plains: ‘The Pi­la­tus name stands for “high tech” and lat­est gen­er­a­tion air­craft. In line with this phi­los­o­phy, our prod­ucts ben­e­fit from on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment to en­sure they match the most re­cent stan­dards. Due to the age of the PC-6 and other cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pa­ram­e­ters, it is no longer pos­si­ble to pro­vide this on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment in the scope we would wish. Also in con­nec­tion with our PC-24 Su­per Ver­sa­tile Jet, for which se­ries pro­duc­tion is cur­rently gear­ing up in Stans, and which re­quires our full at­ten­tion, we have de­cided that the PC-6 no longer fits our prod­uct port­fo­lio, and that, af­ter sixty years, it is now time to cease pro­duc­tion.’

Pi­la­tus Chair­man Os­car J Sch­wenk adds: “This air­craft has earned us fame and recog­ni­tion world­wide, but the time has now come to take a dis­pas­sion­ate look at the facts and ad­mit that ev­ery prod­uct has a life­cy­cle which must come to an end sooner or later.”

Pi­la­tus has man­u­fac­tured its Porter util­ity air­craft since 1959 but pro­duc­tion will cease in 2019

Pro­to­type PC-6 Porter had a 340hp Ly­coming en­gine

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