Pilatus P-4

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Model of the Pilatus P-4
Role Five-seat cabin monoplane
National origin Switzerland
Manufacturer Pilatus
First flight 1948
Retired 1957
Number built 1

The Pilatus P-4 was a Swiss five-seat cabin monoplane designed and built by Pilatus, but had little sales success.

Design and development[edit]

The P-4 was not designed specifically as a passenger aircraft, but rather as a versatile working aircraft. The aim was to build a robust aircraft with good slow-flying handling, requiring only short takeoff and landing runs and little maintenance. The P-4 HB-AET took off for its maiden flight on 22 March 1948. Series production never went ahead due to capacity bottlenecks.

The P-4 was unveiled to a wide international public at the 18th Paris Air Show in 1949, and attracted much interest. There were plans to fit the P-4 with floats, or a combination wheel-ski landing gear.

The P-4 was also destined for agricultural work.

On 13 October 1957, the P-4 crashed in the Susten Pass region while on an exercise with the Swiss Air Rescue Service, and was completely written off. Pilatus Aircraft Ltd had always owned the P-4 until that time.

Comparing the P-4 to the PC-6, which was built eleven years later, the P-4 was clearly an intermediate stage on the way to the mature endproduct, the Pilatus Porter PC-6.

Specifications (P-4)[edit]

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1951–52[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: four passengers
  • Length: 8.6 m (28 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 11.85 m (38 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 20.9 m2 (225 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 910 kg (2,006 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,500 kg (3,307 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 230 L (61 US gal; 51 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-435 , 140 kW (190 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 245 km/h (152 mph; 132 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 152 km/h (94 mph; 82 kn)
  • Range: 1,000 km (621 mi; 540 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,000 m (16,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 4.5 m/s (890 ft/min)



  1. ^ Bridgman 1951, p. 190c.


  • Bridgman, Leonard (1951). Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1951–52. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd. 
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing. 

External links[edit]