Pilatus conducted the first flight of a PC-21 trainer for new customer Qinetiq on 15 January, edging the single-engined turboprop towards service entry with the UK's Empire Test Pilots' School (ETPS).

Qinetiq PC-21 - Stephan Widmer

Stephan Widmer

The first of two PC-21s to carry the Qinetiq livery, the lead example had been pictured undergoing engine ground runs at Pilatus's Stans site in Switzerland 10 days before its debut flight.

Following their delivery to the UK Ministry of Defence's Qinetiq-run Boscombe Down site in Wiltshire, the PC-21s will be prepared for use training test pilots and flight-test engineers. They will replace a combined eight BAE Systems Hawk T1 and Dassault Alpha Jet trainers.

Source: FlightGlobal.com