To show the PC-12NG single-engine turboprop on the ABACE static display, Pilatus Aircraft production test pilot Beda Rohner flew a long way, beginning at Pilatus headquarters in Stans, Switzerland. The brand-new PC-12NG departed Stans and then stopped in Greece, Egypt, Bahrain, Karachi and Calcutta. But before the airplane landed in Shanghai, the Pilatus crew stopped in Kunming for a unique flight demonstration for a new PC-12 customer.
Pilatus is proceeding with plans to unveil its twinjet project in May at EBACE, the Stans, Switzerland-based aircraft manufacturer announced today in conjunction with the release of its 2012 financial results. “The PC-24 project–the new business jet by Pilatus–is making good progress,” it said. “Last year, the board of directors gave the definite green light to the biggest, fastest and most complex aircraft that Pilatus has ever built.
As the fleet of PC-12s approaches 1,200 worldwide, with approximately 70 percent of them in the U.S., Pilatus Aircraft is expanding its service network to meet the demand for customer support. The company recently named Northern Air, based at Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich., as a satellite service center under the sales and service region managed by Londonderry, N.H.-based Pro Star Aviation. Million Air Houston was also added as a satellite service center under Tempus Aircraft Sales and Service of Englewood, Colo.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court issued an order on Monday authorizing Hawker Beechcraft to assume an earlier agreement with Pilatus Aircraft, resolving a claim by the Swiss OEM against the Wichita aircraft manufacturer. Pilatus had alleged that Hawker Beechcraft continued to build and deliver T-6 trainers before and following the May bankruptcy filing without paying royalties on intellectual property in production of the aircraft. The T-6 and AT-6 are both based on a Pilatus design.
Markus Bucher will take over as the new CEO and chairman of the executive board at Pilatus Aircraft, effective January 1. He will take over from Oscar Schwenk, who will remain as chairman of the board of directors. Bucher is a 25-year veteran at Pilatus, working in production logistics, sales and customer service and additional management experience in the company’s aircraft assembly and maintenance units. Schwenk will continue to head up the senior project management of the PC-24 twinjet program, Pilatus said.
There are milestones and there are milestones in aviation. For Pilatus delivery pilot Roger Engel, Oct. 16, 2012, the completion day of his last delivery flight for Pilatus Business Aircraft will always be remembered as a happy milestone. Pilatus vice president of marketing Tom Aniello made sure that Engel received a traditional waterjet salute from the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport rire and rescue department at the completion of his final, and coincidentally, 200th unremarkable delivery to the company.
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