As the certification of the PC-24 Super Versatile Jet inches closer, Pilatus announced it is discontinuing the product that helped grow the company decades ago — the PC-6 Porter. The Porter has become known as a terrific short- and unimproved field performer and it’s seen one of the longest continuous production runs of any airplane model since it first rolled off the line in Switzerland in 1959.
While the production line has been running for nearly six decades, the number of airplanes produced is nowhere near that of the mass-produced Cessna 172 and 182, which have been produced in the tens of thousands. The Swiss manufacturer has delivered a little more than 500 of the multi-mission high-wing airplane and approximately another 100 Porters were produced in the United States under license.
Pilatus said orders have dropped in recent years. “I am proud that the PC-6 has been featured in the Pilatus product portfolio. This aircraft has earned us fame and recognition worldwide,” said Pilatus chairman Oscar J. Schwenk. “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 come for the PC-6.”
If you are passionate about the Porter, there is still a little time to buy one. Pilatus will continue to take orders for the airplane until mid 2018 and will cease production in early 2019. Pilatus has also committed to supporting the existing fleet for at least the next 20 years.
There will be no layoffs of employees as a result of the production termination. Instead, workers from the PC-6 product line will transfer to the PC-24.