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End of an era for multi-role aircraft

pc   southern africa
Pilatus PC-6. Image via Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.

One of the world’s longest-running production stories in the aviation industry will come to an end in 2019 when production ceases for the multi-role aircraft, 19 of the which saw service with the Australian Army Aviation Corps.

One of the world’s longest-running production stories in the aviation industry will come to an end in 2019 when production ceases for the multi-role aircraft, 19 of the which saw service with the Australian Army Aviation Corps.

The Pilatus Porter PC-6, a multi-role short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft, has been produced in Stans, Switzerand since 1959, with a total of 500 PC-6s made. The Australian Army operated the aircraft from 1968 until 1992 as part of the 6th Aviation Regiment. 

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Pilatus said reliable ongoing PC-6 operations will be provided to existing customers for the next 20 years at least. 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 Pilatus would wish, a company statement said.

Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk said the PC-6 has delivered the company recognition worldwide for many decades, but the aircraft has reached the end of its life-cycle.

"I am proud that the PC-6 featured in the Pilatus product portfolio, this aircraft has earned us fame and recognition worldwide," he said.

"But the time has now come to take a dispassionate look at the facts and admit that every product has a life-cycle which must come to an end sooner or later. That moment has arrived for the PC-6. With an eye on the future, however, we now look forward to the imminent market launch of the PC-24 Super Versatile Jet, which embodies, and carries forward, all the original values of the PC-6."

In a record for the aircraft, the Pilatus Porter has flown several cargo and passenger trips at maximum useful load to an altitude of 5,700 metres above sea level.

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Pilatus will accept orders for the PC-6 until mid-2018. The number of aircraft available is limited.

End of an era for multi-role aircraft
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