First engine run for Australian PC-21



Just seven months after it received a contract to produce 49 of the type, Pilatus has performed the first engine run of a PC-21 for the Australian Defence Force.

Pictured at the Swiss manufacturer’s Stans production site on 18 July, aircraft A54-001 will be delivered as part of an A$1.2 billion ($900 million) deal awarded to the Lockheed Martin-led “Team 21” consortium in December 2015.

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Stephan Widmer

Once delivered, the PC-21s will replace an in-service fleet of PC-9s, operated by the Royal Australian Air Force.

Flight Fleets Analyzer records a total of 131 PC-21s as being in current use, with the air forces of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to the Australian order, the company’s firm order backlog also includes eight examples for the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

Original post


Pilatus PC-21



The Pilatus PC-21 is a single-turboprop, low wing swept monoplane advanced trainer with a stepped tandem cockpit manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland.

A key aim for the PC-21 was to allow jet aircraft pilots to perform the majority of the training using the type, converting only to jet-powered types much later than typical contemporary practice, allowing operators to make substantial savings; in order to achieve this aim, the new trainer was required to have an expanded performance envelope in terms of aerodynamics, cockpit equipment, flexibility, and ease of maintenance. In May 2002, Pilatus announced that it aimed for the PC-21 to capture 50 per cent of the global trainer aircraft market between 2005 and 2030.

The aircraft features a tandem-seating arrangement (student in-front/instructor behind) in a bird strike-resistant glass canopy with all-round vision. The cabin, which is pressurized, is equipped with an On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS), air conditioning, and Martin-Baker CH16C Zero-Zero ejector seats. 

Pilatus PC-21 ..Swiss Air Force...Beauvechain 2009 (13)


The flight controls, which are fully balanced and harmonized, are optimized for easy of operation and overall effectiveness. An anti-g system is also present in order to minimize the effects of high g-forces experienced during tactical training and aerobatic maneuvers. Pilots are able to spend a greater amount of time concentrating on the aircraft’s external situation and upon mission data inputs due to an ergonomic design approach, ease-of-use controls, and clear visual/system data displays. In addition, a full autopilot and civil flight management system are also present.

A key feature of the PC-21 is the embedded simulation and training suite, which provides cross-platform cockpit emulation, weapons simulation, stores management system, simulated radar and electronic warfare, a tactical situation display, and data link functionality. 

STANS/NW, 9. DEZEMBER 2008 – PILATUS AIRCRAFT LDT.: COCKPIT PC-21: Fotodok Pilatus Aircraft Ldt.: Cockpit PC-21. Auftrag: Jerome Zbinden, Public Relations Pilatus Aurcraft Ldt. Stans. ths/Photo by: E.T.STUDHALTER / PILATUS AIRCRAFT *** Local Caption *** DigitalPhoto

Key to this is the Mission Support System (MSS), which comprises the Mission Planning System (MPS) and Mission Debriefing System (MBS); data can be loaded and unloaded from these, which is compatible with ground-based stations for pre-flight configuration or post-mission analysis. The integrated mission computer is of an open architecture, allowing for third-party modifications and upgrades to take place; software can also be customized to conform to customer preferences. Critical and non-critical software are also deliberately separated.

Training System: Here

The cockpit of the PC-21 features a high level of systems integration and conforms to modern avionics standards. The systems of the forward and rear cockpits can be ‘de-coupled’ between the student and instructor; the instructor may exercise real-time manipulation of the student’s displays, sensor performance, and system modes such as to create synthetic air-to-air radar targets, artificial non-safety critical system failures, and controlled data degradation. The aircraft’s fully digital glass cockpit features three large colour liquid crystal displays (LCD), one performing as the primary flight display (PFD) and two multi-function displays (MFDs) for system/mission management, in addition to CMC Electronics-provided head-up displays (HUD) for both the pilot and instructor.The trim gauge is the only analogue dial in the cockpit.




 Saudi Arabia
  • Republic of Singapore Air Force: launch customer; operates 19 PC-21 on Basic Wings Course (BWC) as part of a contact for availability, together with Lockheed Martin and Hawker Pacific.
  • Swiss Air Force operates 8 PC-21s for advanced training, replacing the BAe Hawk which had been retired since 2003.
 United Arab Emirates

Specifications (PC-21)

Data from Pilatus Aircraft

General characteristics

Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68B Turboprop engine









(Max. RPM)

Height**(Inches) Width**(Inches) Length**(Inches)
PT6A ‘Large’(A-64 to A-68) 1,400 to1,900 700 to1,700 1,700 to2,000 22 19.5 69 to75.5

* Powers are approximate values at take-off. Available at sea level, standard day, static conditions, uninstalled.
** Dimensions are approximate values.
*** Equivalent Shaft Horsepower: includes estimated equivalent contribution of exhaust thrust.

Engine data pwc.c


  • Maximum speed: 685 km/h (370 knots, 428 mph)
  • Stall speed: 170 km/h (92 knots, 106.25 mph) gear and flaps up (20 km/h less with flaps and gear down)
  • Range: 1,333 km (720 nm, 828 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 11,580 m (38,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 1,219 m/min (4,000 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 208 kg/m² (42.7 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 0.39 kW/kg (0.23 hp/lb)
  • g limits: + 8.0 g to – 4.0 (aerobatic) / + 5.0 g to – 2.5 g (utility)


  • Hardpoints: Provisions provided for 4× under-wing and 1× centerline external store stations, capable of mounting up to 1,150 kg (2,540 lb) of payload of air-to-ground weapons to operate in the Counter-insurgency role.



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