- Pilatus Aircraft
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. is an aircraft manufacturer located in
Stans, Switzerland. The company employs more than 1,100 people.
The company was established in
1939, but it was not until 1944that a Pilatus-built aircraft, the SB-2 Pelican, first took to the air. Soon after, in 1945, Pilatus started producing the P-2 trainer for the Swiss Air Force, of which 54 were built.
This was followed by the P-3 military trainer, built for the Swiss Air Force (72 aircraft) and the
Brazilian Navy(6 aircraft), in 1953.
1959, the legendary civilian PC-6 Porter was introduced. This popular utility aircraft and its successor, the "Turbo Porter", are still being built today.
Pilatus introduced the PC-11 (also known as the "B-4") all-metal
gliderin 1972, of which a total of 322 were eventually built. 1978saw the first flight of the tandem-seat PC-7 Turbo Trainer, although an earlier (converted) version first flew in 1966. To date, more than 450 PC-7s have been built.
1979, Pilatus acquired Britten-Norman, constructor of the Britten-Norman Islanderand Britten-Norman Defenderaircraft.
Pilatus built the first PC-9 Advanced Turbo Trainer in
1984; more than 250 aircraft of this type have been built to date.
The first of more than 70 PC-7 MkII Turbo Trainers was built in
1994. The same year saw the introduction of Pilatus' most successful plane, the turboprop-powered PC-12 multi-purpose aircraft. To date, more than 700 have been built.
The first "PC-12 Eagle" surveillance aircraft was built in
1995, further developments led to the PC-12 Spectre, and in recent years adoption of the PC-12 by the USAFas the U-28A. It is marketed in the western hemisphere by Pilatus Business Aircraft - a wholly owned subsidiary of Pilatus Aircraft headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado- which was established in the United Statesin 1996.
TSA Transairco SA of
Genevawas procured by Pilatus in 1997. In 1998Pilatus AustraliaPty Ltd was established, while Britten-Norman was sold.
2000, the owners Unaxis (previously called Oerlikon-Bührle) sold Pilatus to a consortium of Swiss investors.
The latest-generation PC-21 advanced trainer was rolled out in
2002. Pilatus recently signed contracts to deliver 19 PC-21's to the SingaporeAir Force and a further 6 PC-21's to the Swiss Air Force.
The Next Generation PC-12 will begin delivery to customers early in 2008, featuring a more powerful engine, integrated
HoneywellAPEX Avionics and a host of other modifications.
Pilatus PC-6"Porter" and "Turbo Porter"
Pilatus PC-11/Pilatus B-4
* [http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com Company Website]
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