Beginning April 2009, EAF51 Bear had a chance to visit PILATUS factory in Stans (Central Switzerland). Mr. Daniel Kunz, Sales and Marketing Director of Pilatus LTD, guided the visitors through the production facilities of the Pilatus factory. It was a very interesting visit. Here following are the pictures taken.
PILATUS Aircraft LTD
some news from their website (http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com)
Pilatus is the world market leader in the manufacture of single-engine turboprop aircraft and the only Swiss company to develop, produce and sell aircraft and training systems all over the world. Established in 1939 and headquartered in Stans, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd owns three independent subsidiaries in Altenrhein, Broomfield, Colorado (USA) and Adelaide (Australia). Together, these companies form the Pilatus Group. There are additional sales offices in England, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. Pilatus Business Aircraft, Ltd. in Broomfield, Colorado, was established in 1996. In addition to its being a completion centre, it coordinates all marketing, sales and servicing activities for the PC-12 in North and South America. Pilatus Australia Pty Ltd was set up as a PC-12 sales and marketing support centre. This Australian subsidiary is responsible for the markets in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and on the Pacific Islands. In the maintenance sector, Altenrhein Aviation Ltd (AAL), a fully-owned subsidiary of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, started its operations on 1 January 2003. Located in eastern Switzerland t St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport, AAL specialises in the maintenance, modernisation and overhauling of aircraft such as the Pilatus PC-12 and PC-6, Gulfstream 100 and 200, Cessna Citation jets, Twin-Otter, Bombardier Dash-8 as well as single and twin piston-engined aircraft.
OUR VISIT TO THE PILATUS FACTORY
(pictures by EAF51_Bear)
The Gate Guardian: PC-12 Prototype
The above picture is very intersting: this part is built in inside the wings. It is inflated and de-inflated using by compressed air. This is able to change the wing profile, and therefore de-frost the ice on the wings. This is not the best from an aero-dynamics point of view, but is very efficient in icing conditions. Pilatus airplanes are operating in severe climatic conditions, such as in countres like Alaska or Siberia.
The size of the turbo-prop (above) is very impressive: in fact it looks small, smaller than any piston engine.
The end of the production line: final assembly in the big hangar
PC-12: ready to be delivered to the owner
(pictures source: Pilatus Website, Image Gallery)
Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter
Pilatus PC-7 MkII
The PC-7MkII has been in operation since 1994 and was designed to reflect the handling qualities of a PC-9 but with a less powerful engine. The PC-7MkII is designed for all aspects of ab initio and basic training, and covers a limited number of tasks required in advanced flying training. With the PC-7 MkII, comes an exceptional standard of equipment, performance, and cost-effectiveness in this class of training aircraft.
The PC-9M has established itself as a leader among turboprop trainers, offering superior training value for air forces around the world. The PC-9M is docile enough for a beginner, but with sufficient power available for the more demanding basic and advanced phases of training. Using a modern cockpit environment, the PC-9M has become highly regarded by flying instructors as an aircraft with high performance, excess energy, and agile handling, making it an ideal training platform for a wide range of training syllabi in use today.
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, a life-cycle support cost not to exceed current turboprop benchmarks.
Pilatus PC-12 NG