Pilatus PC-21 Specs, Price, Engine, Cockpit, and Photos. Pilatus PC-21 is a future generation trainer aircraft with a single turboprop motor manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The trainer aircraft is designed to meet the requirements for basic, advanced and combat lead-in training for pilots and, if needed, weapons systems (WSO) officers.
The Pilatus PC-21 aircraft was launched in May 2002 and made its first flight in July 2002. The first aircraft successfully completed more than 400 flight hours. The second test plane made its first flight in June 2004 but, in January 2005, was destroyed in an accident that claimed the lives of the pilots.
The first preproduction aircraft made its maiden flight in August 2005 and the second joined the flight test program in 2006. The PC-21 aircraft received certification for visual flight rules (VFR) operations in December 2004 and full certification for instrument flight rules (IFR) in December 2006.
Pilatus PC-21 Engine and Performance
The Pilatus PC-21 is powered by Pratt & Whitney PT6A-68B single turboprop powerplant. The engine produces an output power of 1,200 kW (1,600 shp) to drive the five-bladed Hartzell E8991 KX graphite propeller. The powerplant is equipped with a digital power management system that delivers full power at speeds of more than 360 km/ h and provides jet-like responses to trainer aircraft.
Pilatus PC-21 can fly with a full throttle of 685 km/ h and rise to a height of 7,620 m. The low altitude speed and climbing rate of this particular aircraft are more characteristic and similar to jet aircraft. The maximum cruise speed on low altitude flights is 590 km/ h. The aircraft has a range of 1,297 km and a service ceiling of 11,582 m. The aircraft’s takeoff distance is 725 m and its landing distance is 900 m.
Pilatus PC-21 Specs
The construction of Pilatus PC-21 aircraft is adapted to the capabilities of the most current generation of jet training. The aircraft is equipped with a sophisticated power management system with high efficiency. The aircraft has three spars and the wing design is swept with hydraulic ailerons supported by spoilers. The main edge of the wing is high impact insulation.
Pilatus PC-21 aircraft are equipped with a fully digital glass cockpit with head-up display, face control panel (UFPC), direct throttle and stick control (HOTAS) and full sized multi-function displays that provide the same cockpit environment as the current generation of fighters, such as AV-8B, F-16, F/ A-18 and Gripen.
The dimensions of the Pilatus PC-21 aircraft include a length of 11.22 m, a height of 3.74 m, and a wing width of 9.11 m. The aircraft’s empty weight is 2,330 kg and its maximum take-off weight (MTOW) is 4,250 kg. The aircraft has five hard places to carry weapons, namely four hard places on the undersurface of the wing and one on the centerline pole.
Pilatus PC-21 Cockpit and Avionics
The Pilatus PC-21 trainer aircraft is equipped with a glass cockpit with tandem seat configurations for pilots and co-pilots. The pressurized cockpit has an automatic cockpit conditioning system, an anti-g system, an on-board oxygen-producing system (OBOGS), and a zero-zero Martin Baker Mark 16L ejection seat. Mecaplex’s two-part acrylic canopy gives pilots a broad view and is resistant to bird attacks.
Each Pilatus PC-21 cockpit is equipped with three 6 in × 8 in active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCD). The central liquid crystal display is the main flight display (PFD). Bezel-mounted display buttons and control panel buttons on the front (UFCP) are used to select navigation, mission, system and tactical data displayed on two external multi-function displays.
Two 761 mm Meggitt secondary backup displays next to the UFCP show the main flight display, systems and important powerplant data. All cockpit displays and lighting systems are compatible with NVIS class B night vision.
The front and rear cockpits can be completely separated, allowing instructor access to training modes and sensor data not available for trainees pilots. The front cockpit is equipped with a Flight Visions SparrowHawk head-up display with the FVD-4000 HUD symbol generator, while the rear cockpit is equipped with a full-color HUD repeater screen that displays scenes from the HUD camera overlaid with HUD symbology information.
The CMC Electronics FV-4000 mission computer is equipped with a 500MHz G4 Power PC processor, each with 512MB of memory for real-time data processing with a high refresh rate.
Pilatus PC-21 aircraft are integrated with a suite of open avionics systems that allow adaptation, system enhancement, and modification to suit the student pilot training phase. The navigation suite includes an integrated laser inertia navigation sensor, a global positioning system and a Kalman filter. This particular system has an ARINC 1553B data bus interface and military standards.
Pilatus PC-21 Price and Orders
The price of the most recent Pilatus PC-21 trainer aircraft is around US $ 12 million. In November 2006, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training and Support to operate the RSAF Basic Wings Course and Pilate supplying 19 PC-21 trainer aircraft. The first six aircraft were delivered in April 2008 and RSAF began flight training in July 2008.
In January 2007, Pilatus Aircraft received orders from the Swiss Air Force for six PC-21 aircraft. The six were delivered in 2008.
The company was also awarded an additional contract of $ 31.87 million by the Swiss Air Force in December 2010 for two PC-21 trainer aircraft. The contract also covers logistics and engineering services and the supply of debreifing systems. Deliveries were made in 2012.
Under a $ 494 million contract reached December 2009, the United Arab Emirates Air and Air Defense (UAE) bought 25 PC-21 trainer aircraft. The contract also includes the provision of an integrated ground-based training system and a comprehensive logistics support package.
Delivery of 25 PC-21s equipped with the Pilatus training system to the UAE began in the first quarter of 2011.
In May 2012 Saudi Arabia signed a contract with the BAE system to provide the supply of 55 Pilatus PC-21 aircraft and 22 BAE Systems Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft, which were used to train pilots to fly Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets.