A number of whole fleets have been sold off, including Soar Aviation and China Southern WA Flying College, and even the RAAF’s PC-21s
TWO NEW types are shown in the New Allocations section this issue plus two new variations on existing models, the most interesting being Mark Stephens’ Pennec Gaz’Aile 2 AML. Designed by Frenchman Serge Pennec, the aircraft is built from plans and features a cantilever low wing, a two-seat side-by-side cockpit under a one-piece bubble canopy and a fixed tri-cycle undercarriage with wheel spats. The airframe is made of wood with carbon fibre wing spars and foam ribs. A number of converted French car engines are available for the aircraft and a 100hp 1600cc Peugeot diesel has been chosen for AML. The engine burns both diesel and Jet-A fuel with a reported 10 litres per hour consumption at 130 knots. Stephens obtained the half-built project about three years ago with its first flight due as this issue goes to press. The aircraft is painted in a striking white and silver scheme with a red and orange cheat line.
The second new type on the local civil register is Pilatus PC-9A YMK. The PC-9 is not new to Australian skies, of course, in fact YMK has been flying with the Roulettes for some time being ex A23-057. The PC-9 is a single engine (PT6A-62), low wing, tandem-seat turboprop training aircraft built by Pilatus in Switzerland. Its maiden flight took place during May 1984 although some aerodynamic features were tested on the aircraft’s predecessor, a PC-7 the year before. Military sales of the PC-9 are impressive with aircraft being delivered to the air forces of Angola, Bulgaria, Croatia, Chad, Ireland, Mexico, Myanmar, Oman, Slovenia, Thailand, Cyprus, the US and of course Switzerland and Australia. Sixty-seven PC-9s were delivered to the RAAF with the first two built in Switzerland, 17 assembled from kits supplied by Pilatus and the remaining 48 built under licence by Hawker De Havilland here in Australia.
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