Pilatus to discontinue Porter PC-6 aircraft production in 2019
Switzerland-based plane manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft is planning to discontinue the production of its Porter PC-6 aircraft by early 2019.
Pilatus has been producing the Porter PC-6 multi-role aircraft at its facility in Stans, Switzerland, since 1959. The company currently manufactures around ten PC-6 planes a year.
Discontinued production of the single-engine, short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft is expected to enable the company to put more focus on the manufacture of its PC-24 Super Versatile Jet.
The age of the PC-6 and other certification parameters also contributed to the company's decision.
After discontinuing production, Pilatus seeks to serve the existing Porter PC-6 customers for at least the next 20 years.
Employees engaged in the PC-6 production will also be allocated to perform assembly work on the company’s other aircraft types.
Pilatus Aircraft board of directors chairman Oscar Schwenk said:“I am proud that the PC-6 featured in the Pilatus product portfolio, 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.
“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.”
Pilatus has so far manufactured 500 PC-6 aircraft at Stans and has also produced nearly 100 PC-6s in the US under licence.
Image: A Pilatus Porter PC-6 aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Pilatus Aircraft.