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The PC-12
The PC-6 Porter was Pilatus' first aircraft to achieve widespread international success.

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. is an aircraft manufacturer located in Stans, Switzerland. The company employs more than 1,100 people.

History

The company was established in 1939, but it was not until 1944 that a Pilatus-built aircraft, the SB-2 Pelican, first took to the air. Soon after, in 1945, Pilatus started producing the P-2 trainer for the Swiss Air Force, of which 54 were built.

This was followed by the P-3 military trainer, built for the Swiss Air Force (72 aircraft) and the Brazilian Navy (6 aircraft), in 1953.

In 1959, the legendary civilian PC-6 Porter was introduced. This popular utility aircraft and its successor, the Turbo Porter, are still being built today.

Pilatus introduced the PC-11 (also known as the B-4) all-metal glider in 1972, of which a total of 322 were eventually built.

1978 saw the first flight of the tandem-seat PC-7 Turbo Trainer, although an earlier (converted) version first flew in 1966. To date, more than 450 PC-7s have been built.

In 1979, Pilatus acquired Britten-Norman, constructor of the Britten-Norman Islander and Britten-Norman Defender aircraft.

Pilatus built the first PC-9 Advanced Turbo Trainer in 1984; more than 250 aircraft of this type have been built to date.

The first of more than 70 PC-7 MkII Turbo Trainers was built in 1994. The same year saw the introduction of Pilatus' most successful plane, the turboprop-powered PC-12 multi-purpose aircraft. To date, more than 750 have been built.

The first PC-12 Eagle surveillance aircraft was built in 1995, further developments led to the PC-12 Spectre, and in recent years adoption of the PC-12 by the USAF as the U-28A. It is marketed in the western hemisphere by Pilatus Business Aircraft - a wholly owned subsidiary of Pilatus Aircraft headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado - which was established in the United States in 1996.

TSA Transairco SA of Geneva was procured by Pilatus in 1997. In 1998 Pilatus Australia Pty Ltd was established, while Britten-Norman was sold.

In December 2000, the owners Unaxis (previously called Oerlikon-Bührle) sold Pilatus to a consortium of Swiss investors.

The latest-generation PC-21 advanced trainer was rolled out in 2002. Pilatus recently signed contracts to deliver 19 PC-21's to the Singapore Air Force and a further 6 PC-21's to the Swiss Air Force.

The Next Generation PC-12 will begin delivery to customers early in 2008, featuring a more powerful engine, integrated Honeywell APEX Avionics and a host of other modifications.

Aircraft

External links


Coordinates: 46°58′32.61″N 8°22′52.74″E / 46.975725°N 8.3813167°E / 46.975725; 8.3813167

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