In a hopeful sign, Pilatus said it will return to full work schedules by February 1. The company reduced working hours at its main plant in Switzerland in September, mainly for aircraft production staff, because of a lower order intake for the PC-12NG turboprop single. Overall, working hours were reduced by 13 percent, although there were no layoffs.
Breaking with a tradition that has seen major military procurements signed and announced only in Abu Dhabi, the UAE government sealed deals for new training and AEW&C aircraft during the Dubai Airshow this month. Pilatus secured the new basic trainer, an order for 25 PC-21s worth $521 million, to also include several training simulators with all systems and services.
Following the selection in February of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master for its advanced trainer and light combat aircraft needs, the United Arab Emirates air force and air defense (AFAD) is focused on its basic trainer requirement to replace the current Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainers. The competitors are the jet-powered Alenia Aermacchi M-311 and the turboprop Pilatus PC-21.
Pilatus Business Aircraft (Booth No. 228) reports that despite some cancellations and delivery deferrals of its single-engine Next Generation PC-12 this year, it has maintained production rates at its plant in Switzerland. The company is confident that the turboprop’s improved avionics, completely new cockpit and more powerful engine will see it through the global aerospace crisis.
Student pilots from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) have begun basic flight training on the Pilatus PC-21 advanced turboprop. Twelve aircraft have now been airfreighted to the RSAF’s Flying Training School at Pearce airbase in Australia and re-assembled. The remaining seven are due for delivery next month. They are replacing Alenia Aermacchi S-211 jet trainers that are now nearly 25 years old.
Pilatus Aircraft announced here an expanding suite of maintenance support choices for PC-12 customers under the umbrella name of ServiceWorx. Options include PlaneTrax Electronic Maintenance & Flight Data Tracking and Diagnostix Propulsion Monitoring. Both programs are offered at no charge to customers of new PC-12s for the first year of ownership ($2,000 annually thereafter for PlaneTrax; $995 annually for Diagnostix).
At the Pilatus shareholder meeting earlier this year, triumphant chairman Oscar Schwenk declared, “In 2007, we sold more aircraft, we achieved a higher turnover, we attained a better operating result and we have a larger order backlog than ever!” With sales of the PC-12 pressurized business utility single turboprop aircraft peaking above output capacity for several consecutive years and trainer sales picking up, the Swiss manufacturer is truly
A big mission for a big company usually means a big airplane with a cavernous interior and enough fuel to carry a large load over thousands of miles. But to accomplish that there is always a cost-benefit compromise. When a big mission appears for a small company, the economics often translate into a small airplane, which means even more mission compromises.
The next-generation version of the Pilatus PC-12 is certified and deliveries have begun, so the single-engine turboprop is dropping off the In The Works chart.
Canadian avionics house CMC Electronics will supply its integrated Cockpit 4000 suite for the 40 KT-1C basic trainers that Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) has sold to Turkey. The KT-1C is an upgraded, export version of the KT-1 that is already in service with the Republic of Korea Air Force. The KT-1C was the first application for the Cockpit 4000 avionics suite: KAI selected CMC for the prototype installation in January 2003.