Swiss aerospace manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft has flown a new version of its proven PC-7 basic trainer, with a launch event for PC-7 MKX Basic Trainer staged at the Dubai air show on 15 November. With a new glass cockpit, new avionics, improvements in the area of crew comfort and other technical innovations, the PC-7 MKX offers smart state-of-the-art training capability in the Basic Training segment at unrivalled cost, with outstanding robustness and unmatched reliability. A state-of-the-art cockpit with smart avionics is at the core of the brand-new PC-7 MKX. The cockpit is centred on a three-display philosophy utilising the next generation of high definition screens. It gives the student an easy entry into the world of modern avionics, while practising vital pilot skills using a proven airframe with benign and forgiving flying characteristics. The PC-7 MKX can be used to train the broadest possible range of aircrew, making it the ideal basic trainer for air forces around the world.
Modern air forces are challenging suppliers to develop cost effective advanced technological training solutions. The PC-7 MKX comes with an exceptional standard of equipment, performance, and cost-effectiveness for this class of training aircraft. With its worldwide proven Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C engine, it provides the lowest engine operating costs of all turboprop trainer aircraft. The PC-7 MKX is based on a proven and easy to fly platform to teach ab initio students. It comes with an exceptional, state-of-the-art standard of equipment in this class of training aircraft. Offering a reliable and economic training platform, the docile behaviour of the PC-7 MKX in the hands of a beginner provides a confidence-building environment for inexperienced students. With its highly cost-efficient PT6A-25C engine with 700 shaft horse power, it provides sufficient power even for advanced training.
The design of the PC-7 MKX uses conventional semi-monocoque construction for the wing, fuselage and empennage. The primary structure is built of aluminium alloy sheet and extrusion. Combined with precision workmanship, these features provide a high degree of interchangeability as well as easy replacement of parts. The PC-7 MKX is an exceptional trainer built on a solid certification foundation, guaranteed to deliver a lifecycle of at least 30 years. A comprehensive set of training products is also available to cover all aspects of ground based training. From the simplest type of training aid, virtual reality tools through to a full flight simulator, all training equipment is of the highest quality and designed to support integrated, progressive learning. This allows the air force to optimise training time and reduce training cost per pilot.
The PC-7 MKX’s smart avionics suite offers broad capability, allowing maximum flexibility for use in a wide variety of training missions. This ensures that the student can easily transition to these platforms when embarking on the next phase of training. The PC-7 MKX avionics capability is designed as a comprehensive baseline configuration with various add-on options such as synthetic vision system, traffic advisory system, autopilot, cockpit camera and mission debriefing system to meet specific training needs. The cockpit features a large primary flight display and multi-function displays to give students the earliest possible exposure to the technology found in today’s front line assets. The primary flight display allows selection of various flight modes, whilst the left and right displays features a moving map for navigation, a Flight Management System and an Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System.
One key objective of a modern Training System is to produce a highly trained pilot capable of meeting the demands of flying today’s sophisticated aircraft. With increasing cost of equipment, resources and time, this goal has to be achieved in the most economical way. Preparation on the ground saves perspiration and failure in the air. By the time students commence flying, they should be fully conversant with systems and avionics functionality. The PC-7 MKX Ground-Based Training System translates student learning into an airborne environment. A comprehensive set of training products is available to cover all aspects of groundbased training. From the simplest type of training aid, virtual reality tools through to a full flight simulator, all training equipment is of the highest quality and is designed to support integrated, progressive learning. The PC-7 MKX is optimised for use in the primary and basic sectors of military pilot training. It is the ideal tool for streaming young pilots into their future assignments, be it a fighter, multi-engine or rotary platform.
The Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer is a low-wing tandem-seat training aircraft designed and manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The aircraft is capable of all basic training functions including aerobatics, instrument, tactical and night flying. The PC-7 was developed from the preceding Pilatus P-3, largely differing by the adoption of a turboprop engine, a bubble canopy, and a new one-piece wing. Introduced during the 1970s, it has since developed a sizable presence of the global trainer market. The type has been adopted by in excess of 20 air forces as their ab initio trainer, as well as multiple civilian operators. Over one million hours have reportedly been flown by PC-7s worldwide. In addition to training operations, some aircraft are armed and have been used for combat missions by several customers, including Chad, Iran, and Mexico, often in violation of the relevant export agreement between the customer and the Swiss government.