This aircraft was assigned to Berlin Brigade, West Germany, then US Army 'Golden Knights' Parachute Demonstration Team, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. <br><br> In the late 1970s the US Army began casting about for a STOL capable single-engine transport aircraft to be used by the Army Aviation Detachment assigned to the Berlin Brigade. The Detachment already operated several UH-1 'Iroquois' 'HUEY' helicopters in the VIP transport role but needed fixed-wing aircraft of greater endurance and capacity to conduct 'show-the-flag'patrols of 'The Ring', the area of Allied air space that includes all of West Berlin and portions of East Berlin and East Germany. The Berlin-based unit's needs were unique, in that the aircraft would be required to operate at low speeds and low altitudes within one of the most restricted and busiest military air traffic regions in the world. Following preliminary evaluation of several aircraft types the Army selected the Swiss-built Pilatus PC-6 Turbo-Porter as being the best qualified, and in 1979 ordered two examples. The machines were designated UV-20A Chiricahuas* and were assigned the serial numbers 79-23253 and -23254. <br><br> The civil Turbo-Porter was developed from the earlier piston-powered PC-6 Porter, and first flew in the late 1960s. The Army's UV-20s are based on the civil model PC-6/B2H2 variant, which was type-certified in 1970, and differ from that model primarily in having military-specification avionics and communications equipment. The Chiricahua is an all-metal, high-wing cabin monoplane and is powered by a single 680 shp Pratt & Whitney of Canada PT6A-27 turboprop engine driving a fully-feathering, three-bladed Hartzell reversible-pitch propeller. The machine's single-spar wing is fitted with electrically-operated double-slotted flaps on the inboard sections and single-slotted ailerons on the outboard sections. The cpacious cabin provides some 107 cubic feet of cargo space, and the interior can be configured to carry up to eleven passengers, eight parachutists or three stretchers and four attendants. This load-carrying capability was particularly important, for the Berlin Brigade's UV-20s were often called upon to perform such additional duties as aeromedical evacuation, VIP transport, and the dropping of parachutists during air shows. <br><br> * Like most recent US Army aircraft, the UV-20A is named after an American Indian tribe. The Chiricahuas are a tribe within the Apache nation. <br><br> * Text source: (c) 'US Army Aircraft Since 1947 - An Illustrated Reference' by Steve Harding.
United States of America | Military
Pilatus PC-6 Porter | 79-23253