The Pilatus PC-21 is a single-turboprop, low wing swept monoplane advanced trainer with a stepped tandem cockpit manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland.
In November 1997 Pilatus flew a modified PC-7 Mk.II in order to test improvements for a next generation turboprop trainer. As a result of these tests, Pilatus funded the development of a new training system in November 1998. Development of the PC-21 started in January 1999.
Roll-out of the PC-21 prototype was on 30 April 2002 at Pilatus' factory in Stans, Switzerland, with the first flight taking place on 1 July of the same year.
The second PC-21 prototype flew on 7 June 2004.
One of the prototypes, HB-HZB, crashed on 13 January 2005, in Buochs, Switzerland on an aerobatic training flight, killing the pilot and injuring another person on the ground. The other prototypes, HB-HZA and HB-HZC, are still flying.
The PC-21 is a completely new aircraft design. The aircraft features a tandem-seating arrangement (student in-front/instructor behind) in a bird strike resistant glass canopy with all round vision, glass cockpit with three large colour liquid crystal displays (LCD), head-up displays (HUD), Hands on Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) controls and Zero-zero ejection seats for student and instructor.
Six PC-21 have been delivered to the Swiss Air Force, the first four being delivered in April 2008.On 21 January 2008, the first PC-21 for the Republic of Singapore Air Force completed its flight test prior to being accepted into service. On 13 July 2008, the type began to provide the RSAF with basic flying training. A further six aircraft have now been delivered with the remaining seven expected to be delivered in August 2008.
Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)
130 Eagle Sqn - 19 PC-21s are operated in the basic training role by the RSAF Flight Training School based at RAAF Base Pearce in Australia. The squadron has transitioned from the SIAI-Marchetti S.211 (which was in service with the RSAF from 1984) beginning June 2008.
Swiss Air Force operates six PC-21s for advanced training. They replaced the Hawk which had been retired from 2003.
Crew: Two (student & instructor)
Length: 11.233 m (36 ft 11 in)
Wingspan: 9.108 m (29 ft 11 in)
Height: 3.749 m (12 ft 4 in)
Wing area: 15.221 m² (163.848 ft²)
Empty weight: 2,270 kg (5,005 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 3,100 kg (aerobatic) / 4,250 kg (utility)
(6,834 lb (aerobatic) / 9,370 lb (utility))
Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68B Turboprop engine, 1,200 kW (1,600 shp)
Maximum speed: 685 km/h (370 knots, 428 mph)
Stall speed: 170 km/h (flaps & gear up) / 150 km/h (flaps & gear down)
(92 knots, 106.25 mph (flaps & gear up) / 81 knots, 93.75 mph (flaps & gear down))
Range: 1,333 km (700 nm, 805 miles)
Service ceiling: 11,580 m (38,000 ft)
Rate of climb: 1,219 m/min (4,000 ft/min)
Wing loading: 208 kg/m² (42.7 lb/ft²)
Power/mass: 0.39 kW/kg (0.23 hp/lb)
Hardpoints: Provisions provided for 4× under-wing and 1× centerline external store stations, capable of mounting up to a total of 1,150 kg (2,535 lb) payload of air-to-ground weapons to operate in the Counter-insurgency (COIN) role.