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In-Box Review
Pilatus PC-6C/H-2 Turbo Porter
Peacemaker in Civies
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]


In 1959 the Swiss firm Pilatus developed a simple multi-purpose aircraft, with the formal name of PC-6 Porter. The early machines were piston engined and built in a short series; and two years later appeared the more modern PC-6 Turbo Porter, powered by the French Turbomeca Astazou II turboprop engine. The airplane proved to be quite successful and displayed highly capable characteristics; especially impressive was its capacity for short take-off and landing on the smallest and most poorly prepared air strips. In 1964 the construction of the airplane was further modernised. The more advanced PT6A-6A engine was installed, the tail fin was enlarged, the construction of the undercarriage was improved, and so on. This version was the B2-H4. In the following years the type gained great popularity. Apart from Switzerland, it was purchased for the needs of air arms in Austria, Argentina, Australia, and various countries in the Far East and Africa. The American aircraft manufacturer Fairchild was also interested in this aircraft and purchased a license in Switzerland for its production.

At this time the military of the United States of America, which was involved in its protracted war in Vietnam, announced a competition for a basic airplane whose primary function had to be supporting operations against the Northern invasions. . . Under the provisions of the military tests for the Credible program two types were chosen - the Fairchild Porter and the Helio Stallion. Comparative tests of the two types took place in 1971 at the Eglin Air Base after which the proposal of the Fairchild firm was chosen for further development.

An airline was founded in the U.S.A. in 1946, under the name "Air America". At first sight, it was an entirely ordinary event, as private air transport had been practiced for a long time in this country, and so the appearance of yet another airline was unexceptional.

However, this new company actually belonged to the Central Intelligence Agency, with the primary purpose of reconnaissance activity beyond its own borders, which is why Air America's activities in that period were always concerned with out of the ordinary air transportation.

The headquarters of the airline were in Washington, D.C., but this was an elaborate and fictitious front, as in a democratic society like this the politicians strictly supervised the activities of the C.I.A. and other such agencies. The primary purpose of Air America on its foundation, and in future, was to support the covert operations of the C.I.A. in the planet's 'hot spots'. . ." from Roden Website.

the Kit

It is a typically solid Roden boxing with 177 plastic pieces and a sheet of decals for the Air America versions. The 12 page instructions have the usual information, parts map exploded view format layouts. A template is provided for the specific locations for the identity lights, communications arrays and cabin air intake and exhaust ports. These are not molded into the cabin turtledeck for two reasons.

1. When uniting the fuselage halves you won't have to worry about erasing the details when blending the seam.

2. Roden has already punched out a military version,( Kit # 439 released in March 2010). This method allows for both kits with only a few sprue differences.

The fuselage and wing components were test fitted and go together nicely. There is also an correction that Roden posted on their web site. http://www.roden.eu/HTML/framemodels.htm - dated 30 June 2010.


1. Pilatus PC-6C/H-2 Turbo Porter, 238, aircraft from the Air America movie with inspired a/c number.
2. Pilatus PC-6C/H-2 Turbo Porter, Air America, N365F, Udorn, August 1971 May 1974, based at miscellaneous airfields in Viet Nam, Laos, and Thailand.
3. Pilatus PC-6C/H-2 Turbo Porter, Air America, N3612R, June 1971 July 1974, based at miscellaneous airfields in Viet Nam, Laos, and Thailand.

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Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Loads of good interior and exterior details. Good fit of the fuselage and wing components. The kit is well researched and colour information appears spot on.
Lows: Needs a good facsimile for the motor, seat harness'. Too many Sink marks. Some parts have flash and minor flaws.
Verdict: Overall a good and unique subject for the Cold War Era students.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: #440
  Suggested Retail: $49.99
  Related Link: Pilatus PC-6C/H-2
  PUBLISHED: Oct 12, 2010
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Roden!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright 2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


It looks at though Tim hatton (litespeed) will be taking on this build. I will put this in the post to him next Monday.
OCT 13, 2010 - 11:22 PM
Hmmmm.. I don't think I want to erase the fuselage halves while building the model...
OCT 21, 2010 - 10:31 PM
With this message Roden announces a new release # 443 UV-20A Chiricahua US Army Pilatus PC-6B-2/H-2 in 1:48 scale The Pilatus PC-6/B2-H2 Turbo Porter is the further development of the well-known light multipurpose turboprop PC-6B, developed at the beginning of the Sixties by the Swiss company Pilatus. This version is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 engine of 680 hp. Apart from in Switzerland, the aircraft was built under license in the USA by Fairchild Industries. Machines belonging to the U.S. Army were designated UV-20A Chiricahua. Planes of this type were exported to many countries in different continents of the world, including Australia and Latin America - Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico. The Pilatus PC-6/B2-H2 Turbo Porter has been used both for military purposes in the Air Forces of those countries, and in purely civilian activities such as light transport and skydiving.
NOV 01, 2010 - 04:25 PM
Hi Stephen, nice camouflage on the Pilatus. All the best. tim
NOV 02, 2010 - 06:43 AM
Hi Stephen Ditto that! Really tasty! All the best Rowan
NOV 02, 2010 - 10:11 AM
It reminds me of the camouflage used on Junkers D.I & J.I airframes of 1918.
NOV 03, 2010 - 01:02 AM
Mine landed on my doorstep tonight!
NOV 22, 2010 - 03:26 PM
Stephen, any chance of posting a scan of the color schemes available in the box? I've just ordered mine & I'd love to know what other option I might have to choose from. Cheers
NOV 24, 2010 - 02:49 PM
I am working on the review even as we speak and I always do images of the instruction sheets but as a description here is what you get in the #443 kit. 1. Fairchild UV-20A Chiricahua, s/n 79-23253, USA Army Group on West Europe, Tempelhorf, West Germany, May 1980. 2. Fairchild UV-20A Chiricahua, s/n 79-23254, Golden Knights Parachute Team, Pennsylvania, October 2009. 3. Pilatus PC-6/B1-H2 Turbo Porter G-2/0686, Argentinian Armada (Air Force), mid-late 1980th. 4. Pilatus PC-6/B1-H2 Turbo Porter A14-690, No.161 (Independent) Recce Flight, Australian, later 1st Aviation Regiment, Army Air Force, Vietnam, 1969. 5. Pilatus PC-6/B1-H2 Turbo Porter A14-684, No.173 (General Support) Sqn Royal Australian Air Force, New South Wales, October 1988.
NOV 25, 2010 - 05:06 PM

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