For the first time in its 75-year history, Pilatus Aircraft revenues exceeded $1 billion last year, reaching $1.25 billion, the Swiss company announced yesterday in its annual report. This is a 70-percent increase over revenues in 2012, it noted. Profit was $165 million last year, nearly triple the previous year’s figure.
Pilatus Aircraft has named Air Alliance a PC-12 sales and service center for Germany and Austria. Air Alliance provides aircraft maintenance, sale of new and used aircraft, air transport and flight training. The company employs more than 100 people in Burbach, Germany, at Siegerland Airport. Wolfgang Krombach, managing director of Air Alliance, said, “The PC-12 NG is ideal for Germany and Austria. Many airports here have short or unpaved runways, which the PC-12 NG can handle with ease.”
Impatient with delays in inducting the HJT-36 Sitara intermediate jet trainer from government-owned defense manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), the Indian air force has issued a request for information (RFI) for Stage II intermediate jet trainers. The Indian Air Force (IAF) requires 85 IJTs, and the cutoff date for RFI response is April 4.
PlaneSense took delivery of the 1,200th PC-12 at its Portsmouth, N.H. headquarters last month during a ceremony hosted by company founder and CEO George Antoniadis. The aircraft is the 49th PC-12 acquired by PlaneSense since its founding in 1995 and launch in 1996. With retirements (typically after 6,500 hours of service) and replacements over the years, PlaneSense’s current fleet counts 30 of the turboprop singles, with an average age of five years (including the four core aircraft).
To meet the needs of its growing fleet in Latin America, Pilatus Aircraft (Stand 5110) has named Aeroservicio in Santiago, Chile, as the company’s newest authorized service center for the PC-12 single engine turboprop. There currently are 36 PC-12s operating in South America, the vast majority of them in Brazil. With this latest addition, the Swiss manufacturer now has three authorized centers in South America (the others being Synerjet at Brazil’s Sorocaba Airport and Aviaser at San Fernando International Airport in Argentina).
Pilatus Aircraft Industry China, a joint venture between Pilatus and Beijing Tian Xing Jian Yu Science, opened on Monday in Chongqing. According to the joint-venture agreement, the $400 million project includes the “establishment of a company engaged in production, general assembly and maintenance of general aviation aircraft, and the relocation of PC-12 production lines for the Asia-Pacific region and PC-6 production lines from Switzerland to Chongqing.” The Chinese venture will not produce components for Pilatus military training aircraft, namely the PC-21, PC-9M and PC-7 Mk II.
Pilatus Aircraft has appointed Aeroservicio of Santiago, Chile, a PC-12 authorized service center, making it the third such facility in South America. “Selecting Aeroservicio is highly beneficial in the expansion of Pilatus’s worldwide customer support capability. The exceptional commitment to high-quality service displayed by Aeroservicio makes it a welcome addition to Pilatus’ group of service centers.
Wireless loading of avionics data is coming to Honeywell’s Primus Apex and Epic avionics suites, beginning with the Pilatus PC-12 NG. For the PC-12 NG the new wireless data loading system requires installation of an Aspen Avionics CG100P connected gateway device. In aircraft equipped with Epic avionics, hardware upgrades built into the aircraft’s avionics will facilitate wireless data loading, but a common interface for all Honeywell avionics suites will be a database loading application installed on Apple’s iPad.
On May 21, surrounded by crowds of eager attendees at EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition), Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk called for the unveiling of Pilatus Aircraft’s long-awaited new twinjet project, the PC-24. When the black curtain dropped amid clouds of dry-ice-induced smoke to the theme song from the Superman movie, the fuselage mockup of the PC-24 was revealed.
It takes 70,251 rivets and 5,000 man-hours to fabricate a Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop, and when each PC-12 rolls into the final assembly process in Halle 9 at Pilatus’s Stans, Switzerland factory, the precise time and date when the airplane will be finished is noted on a label attached to the fuselage. This is no rough estimate, and Pilatus (Chalet A122) means exactly what the label says, according to Pilatus sales and marketing executive Fred Muggli.