Pilatus claims it will revolutionise air force flying training with the launch of its PC-21 turboprop trainer. The aircraft, which made first flight at the beginning of July in Stans, Switzerland, brings together the low cost of a turboprop and the latest avionics technology, Pilatus says.

The aircraft is not on show at Farnborough, but FHL, a division of Hamilton Sundstrand subsidiary Claverham Group (Hall3, D7), won praise on the eve of the show for its part in the new aircraft's success. FHL supplied the actuation and hydraulic systems for the PC-21.


Kevin Smith, managing director, strategic projects for Pilatus, said the challenge was significant both in terms of technical complexity and life-cycle costs targets.

"Our joint approach to teaming resulted in delivery of the prototype units ahead of schedule and played a part in the resounding successful start of the flight test programme. We are confident that the team at FHL have developed a system that will make a solid contribution to our overall capability and costs targets and this in turn makes me confident that PC-21 will be a truly world-class training aircraft."

The PC-21 contract is the latest in a history of collaboration between Pliatus and FHL, which currently supplies hydraulic equipment to both the PC-9 and PC-7 MkII aircraft.

A number of air forces have expressed interest in the PC-21, which Pilatus says will be certified by 2004.

The Swiss manufacturer has sunk $138 million into the project. It claims the aerodynamic performance far exceeds that of any existing turboprop trainer and Pilatus president and CEO Oscar Schwenk says the open-architecture mission system is more advanced than any training aircraft, jet or turboprop, in existence.

He claims it will revolutionise the way air forces look at the value chain in their flying training system

Source: Flight Daily News