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.
Trade and marketing consultants Garsol Management Innovators of Makati City, the Philippines, have announced plans for the formation of an international flying school at Clark Field. This former U.S. Air Force base was abandoned some 10 years ago following the eruption of nearby Mount Pinatubo, which deposited large quantities of volcanic ash on the field.
As of June 13 at least 50,500 foreign nationals in the U.S. for flight training on aircraft with an mtow of 12,500 lb or more were required to suspend their training until their flight schools reapply to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on their behalf.
It might seem strange that the aerospace world awaits with such anticipation Singapore’s choice of advanced jet trainer, especially since it will probably involve no more than a dozen aircraft. But, as Alenia Aermacchi’s CEO Carmelo Cosentino remarked here at the show, “Singapore is one of the most sophisticated and demanding customers in the world–and we like that because we have the best product.”
The Roulettes display team from Australia is providing a daily example of skilled flying in conditions that are sometimes quite demanding. In a marked contrast to the thunderous roar of the RSAF Black Knights display team, which features the Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter, the turboprop-powered Australian-built Pilatus PC-9A trainers are slower–and quieter.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force is the first export customer for the latest Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainer, developed to train pilots to front-line fighter level without intermediate training on a jet. Singapore’s new training program also is innovative on another level–under its private-public structure, Lockheed Martin serves as the main contractor, supplying all the infrastructure and leaving only the teaching to the military.
Alenia Aermacchi expects to soon ink an order for 18 SF-260 primary trainers from the Philippines National Defence Department as part of a package aimed at modernizing the Asian nation’s armed forces. The Philippines armed forces have been using SF-260 trainers since the early 1970s, when they took the first of an order for 46 piston-powered aircraft, replaced in 1991 by 18 SF-260TP turboprops.
Training was not forgotten amid the multibillion-dollar aircraft and MRO deals various Dubai organizations signed at the Dubai Airshow in November.
Dubai World Central (DWC) Aviation City signed a land lease agreement with Spatial Aviation Safety Training Academy (Sasta) to establish the Middle East’s first independent aviation safety training academy.
While record-breaking orders for airliners were announced, the just-completed Dubai Air Show, held from November 11 to 15, offered no big news for the defense industry. However, there were important developments across the border in Saudi Arabia, and the UAE Air Force is close to making important decisions about its future pilot training system.