The 100th PC-21 rolled off the final assembly line at Pilatus Aircraft Ltd today. Destined for the Royal Saudi Air Force training fleet, this PC-21 also happens to be the 1000th turboprop trainer to be produced at Pilatus.
Pilatus trainer aircraft are used by over 30 operators around the world to train the military pilots of the future. Carefully tailored to provide an optimum training solution, Pilatus products enjoy a reputation as the world market leader in this segment.
The latest Pilatus trainer, the PC-21, was developed from ground up and delivers unparalleled performance, cockpit equipment, flexibility and ease of maintenance for a turboprop aircraft. The PC-21 training system which consists of the aircraft, high-end simulator technology, comprehensive Computer Based Training and instructional documentation, offers one of the most advanced, integrated training systems available on the market today. The quality and efficiency of pilot training is substantially improved by the use of state-of-the-art technology. Training hours previously assigned to jet trainers can now be completed on the PC-21 training system. Comparatively low lifecycle costs translate to significant savings in pilot training expenditure.
Three air forces currently use the PC-21 training system with excellent results: Switzerland (8 PC-21s), Singapore (19 PC-21s) and the United Arab Emirates (25 PC-21s). Saudi Arabia and Qatar have also selected the PC-21 and in 2012 ordered 55 and 24 aircraft respectively. The first of these aircraft have already been delivered and the instructors, having been through type conversion at Pilatus, are preparing for their first student courses. With the rest of the aircraft currently in production, both air forces look forward to revolutionising their pilot training programmes.
In addition to the PC-21, Pilatus also produces other first-class trainers for basic and advanced training: the recently enhanced PC-7 MkII and PC-9 M also provide state-of-the-art solutions with the added advantage of being exceptionally cost-effective. The latest customer to opt for the PC-7 MkII is the Indian Air Force. The order for 75 aircraft was placed in 2012 and with two thirds of the aircraft delivered to-date; the fleet has already flown well over 12,000 hours.
Pilatus continues to provide the best possible support to its customers for these, the most advanced, most successful trainer aircraft in the world – the PC-7 MkII, PC-9 M and PC-21.