In January 1999 Pilatus launched the development of a completely new training system, the PC-21. The objective was to meet the expectations of modern air forces over the next 30 years both in terms of capability and life-cycle cost.
With this in mind, the PC-21 development specification focused on three core objectives:
A superior aerodynamic performance when compared with any other turboprop trainer on the market, a more powerful, flexible and cost effective integrated training system than any other jet or turboprop trainer in the world, and a life-cycle support cost not to exceed current turboprop benchmarks.
The wingspan is 1.1m shorter than the PC-9 wing. The fowler are big enough to allow a stall speed of 81 kts when configured. The small ailerons are hydraulically boosted and are suppoorted by spoilers which begin to deploy at greater than 5 degrees of aileron deflection. The load limit is +8 to –4 G.
The aircraft has been designed to be fast for a turboprop with a maximum speed of 370 kts. The canopy is birdstrike resistant. The wing leading edge is designed to prevent a birdstrike from penetrating deeply into the wing structure by dissipating the energy span-wise. The zero-zero ejection seats are Martin Baker Mk 16s with selectable command ejection options. Oxygen is supplied from an onboarf oxygen generation system. The air conditioning system is automatic.
The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68B 1600 shp / 1195 kW engine power is limited to 900 shp / 670 kW on the ground or below 90 kts. Above 90 kts the power is increased until the full 1600 shp / 1195 kW is reached at 200 kts and above. This is controled automatcally by the power management system.
Engine: Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68B 1600 shp / 1195 kW
Wing span: 9.11 m
Length: 11.23 m
Height: 3.91 m
Wing area: 15.2 sq.m
Basic empty weight: 2280 kg
Max take off weight (Aero): 3100 kg
Max take off weight (Utility): 4250 kg
Max external load: 1150 kg
Max loading: +8 / -4 G
Max operating speed: 370 KEAS
Max operating Mach: 0.72
Max level speed (FL 100 ISA): 337 kt
Useable cruise speed: 300 kt
Stall: 81 kts