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Pilatus PC-21

Two-Seat Intermediate Flight Trainer Aircraft

Pilatus PC-21

Two-Seat Intermediate Flight Trainer Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



Over 200 of the stellar Pilatus PC-21 advanced trainers have been committed to by various air services of the world - including France, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Switzerland
YEAR: 2008
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Pilatus Aircraft - Switzerland
PRODUCTION: 209
OPERATORS: Australia; France; Jordan; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Singapore; Switzerland; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Pilatus PC-21 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
LENGTH: 36.91 feet (11.25 meters)
WIDTH: 29.89 feet (9.11 meters)
HEIGHT: 12.30 feet (3.75 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 5,004 pounds (2,270 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 6,834 pounds (3,100 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Pratt & Whtiney Canada PT6A-68B turboprop engine developing 1,600 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 426 miles-per-hour (685 kilometers-per-hour; 370 knots)
RANGE: 830 miles (1,335 kilometers; 721 nautical miles)
CEILING: 37,992 feet (11,580 meters; 7.20 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 4,000 feet-per-minute (1,219 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



If Armed: Up to 2,540lb of ordnance including conventional drop bombs, rocket pods and gun pods fitted across five hardpoints.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• PC-21 - Base Series Designation


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Pilatus PC-21 Two-Seat Intermediate Flight Trainer Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 9/27/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Since founded in December of 1939, Pilatus has made a name for itself as a preeminent designer, developer and builder of high-performance basic / advanced turbo-prop-powered flight trainer aircraft. This now includes the PC-7, PC-9 and PC-12 series among others, many used in civilian and military flying circles and some even outfitted for the light-strike role. When the company flew a revised/modified version of its PC-7 in late 1997, the initiative laid the groundwork for what became an all-new development of a modern training platform - the "PC-21".

With the success of the modified PC-7 in 1997, Pilatus undertook further development on the design as a private venture. Work began in 1998 and continued into the early part of the following decade. The result was a first-flight on July 1st, 2002. After certification the series was introduced as its own product line in April of 2008. Since then, the aircraft has been taken on by various operators around the globe - namely the Swiss Air Force, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force. As of this writing (2017), over 200 units have been committed to by various customers and over 130 examples built with production ongoing since 2002.

The PC-21 fills the gap between basic and advanced flight training, a bridge of sorts for pilots emerging from the classroom and having graduated from basic flight training and now requiring higher-performance and capabilities more on par with jet-powered platforms.

The aircraft is a trainer of all-modern design complete with all-glass cockpits, use of composites in its construction and highly streamlined aerodynamics. The high-performance aspects of the aircraft require it to have a fully-pressurized cockpit and applicable oxygen supplies for both crew and both are seated in tandem under a long-running, largely unobstructed canopy, while being given "Zero-Zero" ejection seats. To better mimic the flying conditions of jet-powered combat aircraft, the PC-21 is equipped with a Hands-On-Throttle-And-Stick (HOTAS) flight control arrangement and Head-up Displays (HUDs).

The fuselage is designed with a slim appearance and is well-contoured for the speeds at play. The wing mainplanes are situated at midships with the tail unit relying on a single vertical fin and low-set horizontal planes. The undercarriage, wholly retractable and wheeled at all three members, is of a tricycle arrangement. Dimensions include a length of 36.10 feet, a wingspan of 29.10 feet and a height of 12.3 feet. Empty weight is 5,000lb against an MTOW of 9,370lb. Power to the aircraft comes from a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68B turboprop engine developing 1,600 horsepower and driving a five-bladed (Hartzell) propeller unit at the nose. Maximum speed is 428 miles per hour with a range of 828 miles and a service ceiling reaching 38,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is 4,000 feet-per-minute.

The PC-21 can be outfitted with basic stores across four underwing (two per wing) hardpoints and a fuselage centerline location. Collectively these points are rated for up to 2,540lb of conventional drop ordnance, machine gun pods, rocket pods and fuel tanks.

The PC-21's launch customer became the Republic of Singapore Air Force which covered an order for nineteen aircraft. The Swiss Air Force committed to the PC-21 in 2006 and deliveries began in 2008. Since then, the Swiss Air Force has built up a fleet of eight such aircraft. In May and July of 2012, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, respectively, ordered the PC-21. In 2015, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) committed to forty-nine of the type and deliveries began in August of 2017. Other operators include Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.




PROGRAM UPDATES

December 2016 - A deal between the French Air Force and Pilatus has been announced covering between twenty and twenty-five total PC-21 aircraft. The fleet will be used as intermediate trainers to the more advanced Alpha Jet advanced jet trainer fleet. Alpha Jet trainers are used by the French Air Force to cover the nuances of high-speed, jet-powered flight before transitioning to the much more-advanced Dassault Rafael multirole fighter platform.

January 2018 - British PC-21s intended for its Empire Test Pilots' School were identified conducting ground testing.

August 2018 - The French Air Force has accepted a pair of PC-21 aircraft on August 30th.

September 2018 - The French Air Force is set to introduce the PC-21 into service on October 2nd, 2018. Seventeen aircraft are part of the deal in which final deliveries will be had by February 2019.
MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (426mph).

    Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Pilatus PC-21's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
209
209

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Supported Arsenal
Graphical image of an aircraft machine gun pod
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Commitments / Honors
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* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.