Pilatus has appointed Western Aircraft to market the PC-7 turboprop trainer to civil customers in North America. There are five civil-registered PC-7 already operating in the USA, and the Swiss manufacturer sees a market for a limited number of new and used aircraft.

Western, based in Boise, Idaho, will be the exclusive distributor and service centre for the tandem-seat PC-7 in North America. Allen Hoyt , executive vice-president aircraft sales, points out that the Swiss trainer has US Federal Aviation Administration Part 23 aerobatic and instrument flight rules certification, making it cheaper to insure than the experimental category "warbirds" typically flown in this market sector.

Sales are likely to be of used aircraft traded in by air forces against the purchase of new Pilatus PC-9s, then remanufactured by the Swiss company for resale to civil and military customers. Production of the PC-7 continues, and new aircraft will be available to civil buyers. Prices will range from $1 million for a remanufactured aircraft to $2 million for a new PC-7. Western, which also distributes Pilatus' PC-12, would be "happy selling one or two" PC-7s a year, Hoyt says.

Source: Flight International