A fighter pilot is as expensive as the aircraft he or she flies. The current trend for containing costs is to concentrate as much of the training syllabus as possible on cost-efficient turboprop trainers, including a large part of the lead-in phase and weapon training, and to limit the use of high-performance jet trainers. Operating costs of jet trainers are estimated to be three to six times those of a turboprop.
Malaysia has signed a contract for 10 Pilatus PC-7 MkII turbo trainer aircraft, ground-based training systems and a complete integrated logistic support package. The sale is valued in excess of $53 million with a delivery set for sometime in 2007.
Swiss airframer Pilatus last year achieved a sales record for its PC-12 single turboprop aircraft, logging 80 orders. After a dip in sales to 46 units during 2002, the business/utility PC-12 has enjoyed increasingly strong demand, reaching the pre-2002 level of 71 deliveries again in 2004.
Swiss airframer Pilatus is riding high on a sustained wave of success of its PC-12 pressurized single-engine executive/utility aircraft. At the same time, it is pushing hard for a first order for its new PC-21 turboprop trainer.
Pilatus chose Honeywell’s Sunday evening media event to announce a Next Generation PC-12 featuring a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprop engine and a four-tube Honeywell Apex integrated avionics suite.
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