Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

New Pilatus trainer ready for takeoff

Pilatus unveiled its new aircraft to great fanfare


Swiss aircraft builder Pilatus has unveiled its latest model - a high-tech turbo-prop designed for air force training.

The new PC-21 comes 11 years after the Pilatus Aircraft firm launched its successful PC-12.

The company believes the new aircraft can replicate the commercial success of the PC-12, a light passenger craft, popular with Australia's outback flying doctor's service and US drug enforcement agencies.

The PC-21 is a "low-wing", single-engine craft with a twin-cockpit, in which an instructor can control the aircraft independently of a student. It cost SFr200 million ($124 million) to develop.

The company says the new machine is also environmentally friendly, with low noise emissions and maintenance costs.

Three years of development

Design-work started on the PC-21 in 1999, and included consultation with air forces from South Africa, Australia, Great Britain and Switzerland.

After conducting the first flight in July, the company will begin extensive testing before building a second prototype. Pilatus hopes to make the first production aircraft available to customers from November 2004.

Potential owners will be looking at a price tag of between SFr8-9 million ($4.9-5.6 million).

Demand for the trainers, to be built in Stans in canton Nidwalden, is estimated at around 1,000 over the next 20 years.

swissinfo with agencies

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

SWI on Instagram

SWI on Instagram

SWI on Instagram

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters