Sunday November 02, 2014

PC-21 on tour

A RAAF PC-9 and PC-21 HB-HZD in Canberra on February 22. (Paul Sadler)

A RAAF PC-9 and PC-21 HB-HZD in Canberra on February 22. (Paul Sadler)

Pilatus is currently undertaking a month long demonstration tour of Australia with its PC-21 turboprop military trainer, a contender for the ADF’s Project Air 5428 Pilot Training System program.

PC-21 HB-HZD arrived in Darwin on February 11 after being displayed at the Singapore Airshow. Its tour so far has seen it visit Amberley, Tamworth (home of the RAAF’s Basic Flying Training School), Williamtown and Richmond. On February 22 it arrived at Canberra where it will be demonstrated to RAAF personnel over the next three days, before it continues to Point Cook, East Sale, Edinburgh and Pearce, before departing through Darwin on March 19 or 20 to return to Switzerland.

The PC-21 cockpit features customisable MFDs, HOTAS and a HUD. (Paul Sadler)

The PC-21 cockpit features customisable MFDs, HOTAS and a HUD. (Paul Sadler)

While in Australia the PC-21 is being demonstrated by Pilatus pilots Reto Aeschlimann and William ‘Muz’ Colqhoun, and is being supported by a PC-12. Aeschlimann is a former Swiss Air Force F/A-18 pilot, Colqhoun an ex RAF C-130 pilot and graduate of the Empire Test Pilots’ School.

The PC-21 is in service with the Republic of Singapore Air Force at Pearce, and has recently been selected by the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence.