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Inside the Archive: Pilatus PC-21

Training fighter pilots, unsurprisingly, can be a pretty expensive business because recruits need to swap between two to three aircraft. The Pilatus PC-21 changes all that by becoming arguably the first trainer that schools can use to skill up Topguns from start to – almost – finish. It’s a giant leap ahead of its processors: the PC-9/A, introduced in 1988, and the CT-4B Airtrainer, which can trace its lineage back to 1975.

The turboprop PC-21 is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68B engine and has a stepped tandem cockpit seating the student in front and the instructor behind. Yet its design is squarely focused on preparing recruits for fifth-generation fighters such as the F-35. The PC-21 has a pressurised cockpit, air conditioning, anti-G system, on-board oxygen generator and can fly at low-level speeds over 320 knots.

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Comment (1)

  • Rex

    says:

    A somewhat disappointing selection of shots to showcase RAAF PC-21 aircraft. With almost four years of operations in Australia since arrival of the first batch in early 2017, surprises me that a significant number of the shots in the gallery are not actually RAAF aircraft, or date from the pre-delivery phase of their lives. No shots of the Roulettes in all their smoking glory. No shots of the grey tails operated by 4SQN and ARDU (nor even a mention of them in the accompanying short narrative). Missed opportunity here.

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Inside the Archive: Pilatus PC-21

written by Staff reporter | March 24, 2021

Training fighter pilots, unsurprisingly, can be a pretty expensive business because recruits need to swap between two to three aircraft. The Pilatus PC-21 changes all that by becoming arguably the first trainer that schools can use to skill up Topguns from start to – almost – finish. It’s a giant leap ahead of its processors: the PC-9/A, introduced in 1988, and the CT-4B Airtrainer, which can trace its lineage back to 1975.

The turboprop PC-21 is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68B engine and has a stepped tandem cockpit seating the student in front and the instructor behind. Yet its design is squarely focused on preparing recruits for fifth-generation fighters such as the F-35. The PC-21 has a pressurised cockpit, air conditioning, anti-G system, on-board oxygen generator and can fly at low-level speeds over 320 knots.

This content is available exclusively to Australian Aviation members.
Subscribe to Australian Aviation for unlimited access to exclusive content and past magazines.

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PRINT + DIGITAL

$99.95
FOR 1 YEAR
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checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly print & digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our Australian Aviation app
checkbulletAccess to our Behind the Lens photo galleries and other exclusive content
checkbulletDaily news updates via our email bulletin
 

PRINT

$49.95
FOR 1 YEAR
subscribe
checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly print & digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our Australian Aviation app

MOST POPULAR

PRINT + DIGITAL

$99.95
FOR 1 YEAR
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checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly print & digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our Australian Aviation app
checkbulletAccess to our Behind the Lens photo galleries and other exclusive content
checkbulletDaily news updates via our email bulletin
 

DIGITAL

$59.95
FOR 1 YEAR
subscribe
checkbulletAustralian Aviation quarterly digital magazines
checkbulletAccess to In Focus reports via our app
checkbulletAccess to our Behind the Lens photo galleries and other exclusive content
checkbulletDaily news updates via our email bulletin


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Login here

Comment (1)

  • Rex

    says:

    A somewhat disappointing selection of shots to showcase RAAF PC-21 aircraft. With almost four years of operations in Australia since arrival of the first batch in early 2017, surprises me that a significant number of the shots in the gallery are not actually RAAF aircraft, or date from the pre-delivery phase of their lives. No shots of the Roulettes in all their smoking glory. No shots of the grey tails operated by 4SQN and ARDU (nor even a mention of them in the accompanying short narrative). Missed opportunity here.

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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