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Pilatus PC-9
Pilatus PC-9

The Pilatus PC-9 is a single-engine, low-wing tandem-seat turboprop training aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. Designed as a more powerful evolution of the Pilatus PC-7, the PC-9's first flight was made in May 1984 after which certification was achieved in September 1985. After this, the first production orders for the type were received from the Royal Saudi Air Force, with deliveries commencing in 1985. Since then, more than 250 airframes have been produced across five different variants and the type is employed by a number of military and civilian operators around the world, including the Swiss Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Thai Air Force.

Design and development


The PC-9 is a more powerful evolution of the PC-7. It retains the overall layout of its predecessor, but it has very little structural commonality with it. Amongst other improvements, the PC-9 features a larger cockpit with stepped ejection seats and also has a ventral airbrake.

The PC-9 program officially started in 1982. Although some aerodynamic elements were tested on a PC-7 during 1982 and 1983, the first flight of the first PC-9 prototype took place on 7 May 1984. A second prototype flew on 20 July of the same year; this prototype had all the standard electronic flight instrumentation and environmental control systems installed and was thus almost fully representative of the production version.

Certification was achieved in September 1985. By this time, the PC-9 had lost the Royal Air Force trainer competition to the Short Tucano. However, the marketing links that Pilatus built up with British Aerospace during the competition led to their first order from Saudi Arabia.

As of 2004, more than 250 aircraft of this type have been built.

Operational history


The first production aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flew on 19 May 1987, under the Australian designation PC-9/A.

Condor of Germany uses 10 examples of the target-towing variant.

In August 2015, Pilatus received a contract to deliver nine PC-9Ms to the Royal Jordanian Air Force, but in April 2016 changed the order to eight PC-21s. Deliveries were due to start in January 2017 under the original deal.[1]

The United States Army operated three PC-9s from 1991–96 as chase and test aircraft, they eventually were sold to Slovenia in 1995.[2]

Variants


Operators


Specifications (PC-9M)


Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004[9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one or two pilots
  • Length: 10.14 m (33 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.125 m (33 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 3.26 m (10 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 16.29 m2 (175.3 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,725 kg (3,803 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2,350 kg (5,181 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,200 kg (7,055 lb)[[INLINE_IMAGE|//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Pilatus_PC-9_Cockpit.JPEG/170px-Pilatus_PC-9_Cockpit.JPEG|//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Pilatus_PC-9_Cockpit.JPEG/255px-Pilatus_PC-9_Cockpit.JPEG 1.5x, //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Pilatus_PC-9_Cockpit.JPEG/340px-Pilatus_PC-9_Cockpit.JPEG 2x||h260|w170|thumbimage]] A view of the interior of the cockpit of a Pilatus PC-9 aircraft.
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-62 turboprop, 857 kW (1,149 hp) flat-rated at 708 kW (950 shp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 593 km/h (368 mph, 320 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 556 km/h (345 mph, 300 kn) at 7,620 m (25,000 ft)
  • Stall speed: 143 km/h (89 mph, 77 kn) EAS flaps and gear up, 128 km/h (80 mph; 69 kn) flaps and gear down
  • Range: 1,537 km (955 mi, 830 nmi)
  • Endurance: 4 hr 30 min
  • Service ceiling: 11,580 m (37,990 ft)
  • g limits: + 7.0 g to −3.5 g
  • Rate of climb: 20.8 m/s (4,090 ft/min)
  • Take-off distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level: 1,280 ft (391 m)
  • Landing distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level: 2,295 ft (700 m)

Armament

  • Hardpoints: Three hardpoints under each wing, inner two rated at 250 kg (550 lb), outer rated at 110 kg (240 lb)

See also


Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

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