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Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd


Formed as Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG in 1939, as a subsidiary of the Oerlikon armaments company. First aircraft was SB-2 Pelican six-seat light transport of 1944, but prototype only built. Followed by P-2 advanced trainer, produced in quantity for the Swiss Air Force in late 1940s, and the P-3 advanced trainer from 1953. Series production of the P-3 followed for the Swiss Air Force, and six went to the Brazilian Navy. In May 1959 Pilatus flew the first PC-6 Porter STOL monoplane with a Lycoming piston engine; this type has been in continuous production ever since, later developments using Astazou, Garrett, and most recently Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop engine as the PC-6/B2-H4 Turbo Porter. Pilatus also signed a license agreement for production of Turbo Porters by Fairchild-Hiller in U.S.A. Also undertook Mirage production and maintenance work for the Swiss Air Force.

Became known as Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, based at Stans, Switzerland,.the product range encompassing the PC-7 Turbo Trainer (first flown August 1978 in production form), PC-7 Mk II (M) Turbo Trainer (first flown September 1992), the PC-9 (M) Advanced Turbo Trainer (first flown May 1984) with the highest engine power of the range and also selected in 1995 for U.S. military service as the Raytheon/Beech T-6A Texan II, and the PC-12 utility and business turboprop transport (first flown May 1991 and also available in military form). Also, in 1979 Pilatus took control of the LJ.K.'s Britten-Norman Ltd company, becoming Pilatus Britten-Norman, but sold this company in July 1998.

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., the Swiss aircraft manufacturer, has sold all manufacturing and marketing rights to the B-4 all-metal, aerobatic glider to Nippi, Japan Aircraft Manufacturing Company. The glider license was sold because of a lack of space in the Pilatus factory, where much room is devoted to production of the PC-7 Turbo Trainer. Seventy-eight B-4s were sold in 1977, and 320 were in operation. The first Japanese airplanes were expected in April 1979.

 

 


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