Reliability of 99.5% was achieved by the Pilatus Britten-Norman (PBN) Defender 4000 - displayed in Farnborough's static park - on its recent 27,000km (17,000 miles) sales demonstration tour of nine countries in the Middle and Far East.

A separate demonstration to the UK police forces involved special trials to gain CAA clearance for the steep approach to London City Airport.

The aircraft has now logged more than 500h in type certification (achieved after 150h) and sales and customer evaluation flying, demonstrating excellent reliability and requiring virtually no unscheduled maintenance.

Basically a BN2T Defender with a 76cm fuselage extension; wing-tip extension; larger tailplane and more powerful engines, the Defender 4000 has impressed those who have put it to the test.

One Middle Eastern air force, needing a utility and training aircraft suitable for parachuting, noted the doubled payload and the enhanced performance from the Allison 250 B17F engines in the hot climate.

PBN is in advanced stages of negotiation with a number of military and security agencies, particularly in Asia. Defender's roles include border patrol, electronic and visual surveillance, counter insurgency, contraband interdiction, parachute training, low-cost airborne policing and utility.

The Islander and Defender range is produced and supported by the Isle of Wight-based company which is part of the Oerlikon Burrie group.


Source: Flight Daily News