Spanish Air Force Pilatus PC-21 Turboprop-powered Advanced Trainer
Spanish Air Force Pilatus PC-21 Turboprop-powered Advanced Trainer

Spanish Air Force Expands Order of Pilatus PC-21 Turboprop-powered Advanced Trainer

On 5 December 2022, the Spanish Ministry of Defence (Ministerio de Defensa) reported that a second batch of sixteen Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft will be acquired. The new order, valued at 250 million euro, will include new aircraft, simulators, training equipment and a logistics package. The Spanish Ministry of Defence will now start negotiations with Pilatus, which had already submitted an offer to the Ministry of Defence for this second order. This new batch will replace the ENAER T-35C Tamiz (Pillán) elementary training aircraft in use with 791 Escuadrón at Murcia/San Javier, Spain.

The Spanish Ministry of Defence delivered to the Spanish Air Force based in San Javier (Murcia), its first PC-21, and will immediately integrate the world’s most advanced training system by Pilatus to be part of the 792 Squadron, the Basic Training School in the Spanish Air Force Academy. Pilatus will deliver a total of 24 PC-21s to Spain by June 2022, raising air force pilot training to state-of-the-art level. Pilatus prevailed over all the international competition to win the contract with the PC-21 in 2020. The first PC-21 was handed over in San Javier on 14 September 2021.

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Spanish Air Force Pilatus PC-21 Turboprop-powered Advanced Trainer
Spanish Air Force Pilatus PC-21 Turboprop-powered Advanced Trainer

The Spanish Air Force launched its first pilot training course in September 2022. The PC-21 will provide Spain with not only the most technically advanced training system, but a cost-effective, ecological training platform as well. Experience with existing PC-21 customers shows that the budget for training a student military pilot can be reduced by more than 50 percent with the PC-21. These single-engine turboprops require far less fuel than comparable jet trainers. Besides the actual aircraft, the PC-21 training system includes state-of-the-art simulators, computer-based training and virtual reality tools.

The Pilatus PC-21 is a turboprop-powered advanced trainer with a stepped tandem cockpit. It is manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The PC-21 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68B turboprop engine of 1,600 shaft horse power, which drives a five-bladed graphite scimitar propeller manufactured by Hartzell; it has been claimed by Pilatus that the PC-21 possesses speed and climb rates previously normally performed only by jet-powered aircraft. It is also fitted with a high-speed profile wing, rated for maneuvers up to 8g, complete with hydraulically-assisted ailerons and spoilers which enable the execution of fighter-like rates of roll and other maneuvers.

Spanish Air Force Pilatus PC-21 Turboprop-powered Advanced Trainer
Spanish Air Force Pilatus PC-21 Turboprop-powered Advanced Trainer

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