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.
The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) selected Pilatus to provide a complete pilot training system based on the PC-21 turboprop trainer. The package will include ground-based training devices and extensive logistics support and maintenance. The newly established QEAF air academy will receive the first of 24 aircraft in 2014 so that training can start in mid-2015. Pilatus has signed a long-term performance-based support contract.
The Roulettes are flying the flag for Australia at this year’s Singapore Air Show. Six Pilatus PC-9/A turboprop trainers are looping and swooping above Changi, flown by instructor pilots from the Central Flying School of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) at East Sale in Victoria. They are led by Sqn. Ldr. Steve Baker, in his sixth season with the team and a veteran with almost 5,000 flying hours.
India has selected the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II to answer its requirement for a basic trainer. The procurement of the new aircraft was hastened by the grounding of the piston-powered HAL HPT-32 Deepak fleet in July 2009, following 17 crashes. While waiting for the new trainer to enter service, India’s pilots have begun their instruction in the jet-powered HAL Kiran Mk II or BAE Systems Hawk advanced trainers.
In Pilatus’ 2009 annual report, chairman and CEO Oscar Schwenk had good news for shareholders who might have expected negative results as a consequence of the economic crisis. In addition to reporting a record delivery of 100 PC-12s, the Swiss company announced it had achieved its highest profit ever, and had received its largest single order ever–for 25 PC-21 trainers with associated ground equipment for the United Arab Emirates Air Force.
Pilatus today reported that 2009 was a record-breaking year for PC-12 deliveries, bucking the downward trend seen at most business aircraft manufacturers. The Swiss company delivered 100 PC-12 NG turboprop singles last year, surpassing delivery totals for any production year since the first PC-12 was shipped in 1994.
In late September the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) became the latest customer for the Hawker Beechcraft T-6 Texan II trainer and the first for the weapons-capable T-6C. The $37 million Foreign Military Sales contract covers the first installment of a planned 24-aircraft purchase that was first notified to the U.S. Congress through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in late 2007.
One year after the first major upgrade since its inception in the early 1990s, the Pilatus PC-12 NG remains the best seller in the pressurized single-engine turboprop class of aircraft which the Swiss manufacturer helped to create. Pilatus (Booth No. 7031 and on the static display) delivered 97 PC-12s last year, of which about three quarters were the New Generation versions.
Avatas Aerospace has signed an agreement with Precision Turbines to allow the latter to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul services for Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop engines. Precision Turbines provides a variety of products and services for the Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D, PW100 and PT6A and the Rolls-Royce T56. The company offers half-life, overhauled and new engines as well as OEM and PMA parts.
Fresh from the announcement by Pilatus (Booth No. 1397) that is posting another record year for sales of its single-engine utility PC-12 turboprop, the Swiss company said it is set to deliver more airplanes next year and in 2010 than it will this year despite a rise in the base price of the PC-12NG (Next Generation). Pilatus this year opened a new factory with room for two assembly lines.
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