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End of the line for the PC-6 (after 60 years continuous)

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PC-6.thumb.png.6842984975d2ff68cd105ad32ae66410.png

 

 

 

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2019/july/pilot/a-flying-swiss-army-knife

 

[excerpt]:

"On the subject of value, that’s where the Porter seems to come up short in today’s marketplace. It costs about as much as a Quest Kodiak or Cessna Caravan—two similar-sized turboprops that also are available on amphibious floats—but the Porter isn’t as fast and can’t legally carry as much payload. In the field, the Porter is widely known to regularly carry far more than its stated 2,000-pound payload—but that’s another discussion.

On the ground, the Porter is unapologetically ugly. Nothing about it is aesthetically pleasing, or even symmetrical. Inside the airplane, however, its form and function are an elegant match. It’s spacious, sturdy, and made for hard, unglamorous work in austere places."

 

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I don't think anyone will ever want to use the "MAX" nomenclature, ever again, in aviation. It's just got that awful smell about it.

 

It's funny how these ugly-looking things still get the job done effectively and efficiently, in practical terms, without the "ooh-ahhh" looks, and voluptuous curves of their beautiful sisters.

It's the same as regards car design. The older shapes were practical and efficient, the shapes of today leave so much unusable room with their styling curvatures - all to gain a slight reduction in drag coefficient.

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It's   made to do a job, not for beauty ie Carry big heavy parcels and the lighter P&W  turboprop  motor needs a longer nose to achieve balance They were introduced in PNG in the latter half of the 60's and from the start were outstanding, That's  a place that needs outstanding aircraft. as there were few roads and the ones that were  got washed away during the wet  17,000 foot Mountains, lots of clouds and heavy monsoonal rain. .Enough challenge without having crook aircraft as well. Nev

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I remember a Pilatus Porter's STOL chops being demo'd at Port Moresby airport in the early 70's ... to much oohing-and-ahhing from assembled aviators.

But that would have been the earlier (short nosed) piston variant. 

 

Ole Hartmann,  of AAK (Australian Aircraft Kits) at Taree, NSW, drew up plans, a couple of years back, to offer a scaled down replica version of the PC-6 powered by a Rotax 914 (using the wings from their standard Hornet) but unfortunately that project never got off the ground.

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That Kodiak Quest has me drooling not only max cruise 174 kts @ 12,000', 48 gph, range 1005 Nm, but it can land and take off in a post hole, and cmes with optional mudflaps, and just $2.15 m.

 

 

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Patair bought 2 of them in the late 60's and they were good for the short and rough strips, and shorter distances - but the economics didn't add up for longer trips, eg, 250nm or 2 hrs flying. The local punters were highly impressed with the ability of the Porter to 'back' into a parking spot. But most pilots preferred 2 engines in PNG, and that explains the popularity of the fabulous DHC 6 twin Otter. Even the missionaries, who were notably gung ho back-in-the-day, now operate the twotter.

All good things come to an end.

happy days,

 

att: selection of turbines in PNG today: L to R, Porter, Twotter, Kodiak and PAC-750

PNG - PC6 Porter VHPNH.jpg

MAF Twin Otter.jpg

PNG - Gema_3b.jpg

PAC-750 in PNG.JPG

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On 06/07/2019 at 10:35 AM, onetrack said:

Talair had 1 or 2 in operation in the Highlands when I was in Mendi SHD in the late 1970s.

They were known as the "Time Machine" because that too their time taking off, they took their time getting there and they took their time landing.

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No mention of the Piaggio (pig) twin pusher. Very unsuited to that place. Nev

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Hiho LoneRanger,

bit of a difference in groundspeed taking off and landing with that wind

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Yeah ... and with air so rare.  Just as well that uphill trumps downwind arriving there.

Looks like fascinating place, eh?   

Would love to fly in one day for a thousand dollar hamburger at Phinjo Lodge and Restaurant.  😉 

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Just mind-blowing scenery. 12,000 feet elevation would make me start to feel a bit faint or crook. All I can think of is - how did they get the earthmoving equipment in there, to build the airstrip?

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