Aircraft a Key Part of Transformation of ETPS
At Farnborough on 17 July Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus, handed over the first PC-21 trainer destined for the Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) aircraft to Steve Wadey, CEO of QinetiQ, which operates the world-renowned test pilot and flight test engineer school. The second of two aircraft will be handed over in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Both aircraft have been produced with a fully integrated flight test instrumentation capability and their acquisition forms a key part of a transformation and modernisation project currently underway at ETPS. “We are delighted to see a PC-21 operating in the UK for the first time. These aircraft will have a primary role in the training syllabus. We are very pleased that, with Pilatus support, we are on track to deliver new training services for the benefit of our customers,” commented Mr. Wadey.
The delivery of the first PC-21 is another key milestone in the process of developing and strengthening the relationship between Pilatus and QinetiQ. “We are extremely proud that our PC-21s were selected for the prestigious Empire Test Pilots’ School. QinetiQ is the ninth member of the family of PC-21 operators. We are confident that the many international test pilots who will fly in these PC-21 aircraft in UK skies will benefit from continuing investment in the development of this trainer aircraft. With the PC-21, the best future test pilots will be trained with the world’s most capable training system,” added Mr. Bucher.
The PC-21 was developed to meet the growing requirements of air force training. Its performance, optimum aerodynamics, state-of-the-art cockpit equipment, flexibility and ease of maintenance all ensure it is far superior to other training aircraft. Training hours previously flown on jets can now be flown exclusively on the PC-21, generating substantial savings. Fuel consumption, noise emissions and associated costs can be greatly reduced. Pilatus has also developed a fully integrated training system to accompany the aircraft, comprising the latest simulators, computer-based training and pilot classroom instruction. Nine customers have bought 211 PC-21s since its maiden flight in 2002.