STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Pilatus - Switzerland / Hawker de Havilland - Australia
OPERATORS: Angola; Australia; Bulgaria; Croatia; Chad; Cyprus; Germany; Iraq; Ireland; Mexico; Myanmar; Oman; Saudi Arabia; Slovenia; Switzerland; Thailand; United Kingdom; United States
LENGTH: 33.30 feet (10.15 meters)
WIDTH: 33.20 feet (10.12 meters)
HEIGHT: 10.66 feet (3.25 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 3,803 pounds (1,725 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 7,055 pounds (3,200 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-62 turboprop engine developing 1,150 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 370 miles-per-hour (595 kilometers-per-hour; 321 knots)
RANGE: 957 miles (1,540 kilometers; 832 nautical miles)
CEILING: 37,992 feet (11,580 meters; 7.20 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 4,100 feet-per-minute (1,250 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Pilatus PC-9 Twin-Seat, Single-Engine Basic Trainer Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 8/24/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Pilatus PC-9 is a successful twin-seat basic training aircraft used in military circles to provide future pilots and combat airmen their first taste of flight. The aircraft emerged from Swiss-based Pilatus Aircraft in the mid-1980s and has found global respect from flyers despite its modest production total of 265 units. The type, developed from the earlier PC-7 model of similar form and function, went on to form the basis of the American Beechcraft / Raytheon T-6 "Texan II" basic trainer (detailed on this site) currently used by the U.S. military.
A first-flight of the PC-9 was had on May 7th, 1984 and certification followed in September of 1985. Production has been ongoing since 1984. Military operators have ranged from Angola and Australia to Thailand and the United States.
The arrangement of the PC-9 is conventional with a straight-wing mainplane configuration used. The mainplanes are seated at midships as is the tandem-seat cockpit sporting a large, curved canopy offering excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit. The cockpit sits aft of a long nose section housing the single engine installation. The tail unit showcases a single vertical tail fin and low-set horizontal planes. The undercarriage, wholly-retractable, utilizes two single-wheeled main legs (under each wing element) and a single-wheeled nose leg. Internally, the cockpits are a mix of steam-style gauges and display units. The control stick is at center, between the knees, and the throttle is set to portside. Controls are doubled for student and instructor positions. Both airmen are afforded ejection seats.
Variants include the basic, and original, PC-9 model. The PC-9/A became a basic trainer for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and was built locally under license by Hawker de Havilland. The PC-9B was a two-seat target-tower for the German Air Force and the PC-9M followed in 1997. The M-model introduced a revised tail fin and wingroots as well as other subtle changes.
The PC-9M featured an empty weight of 3,805lb against an MTOW of 5,180lb. Power is from a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-62 turboprop engine developing 1,150 horsepower providing speeds of 370 miles per hour with a range out to 955 miles and a service ceiling up to 38,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is 4,100 feet-per-minute.
Pilatus then teamed with American-based Beechcraft to offer the PC-9 Mk.2 for the JPATS program. This model became the T-6A Texan II in service with the USAF and USN.
While typically unarmed, the PC-9 has three hardpoints under each wing and can carry various load outs for training purposes or light strike sorties.
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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.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (370mph).
Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Pilatus PC-9's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
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