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Pilatus PC-9

Training aircraft
Place of operation

Manufacturer: Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, Stans, Switzerland
Type: Pilatus PC-9/F Turbo Trainer
Year of manufacture: 1988, 1994 and 1996

  • Basic and advanced flying training (tandem cockpit)
  • Target towing aircraft for the AAA units
  • Jamming missions for EW training

Crew: 1 pilot, 2 pilots for night flights
Operated since: 1988
Number of aircraft procured: 12
Number of aircraft still in service: 4 (as per November 2017; C-404 crashed on 14.10.1998)

Registration: C-401 to C-412

The Pilatus PC-9 two-seater turboprop trainer, successor to the PC-7 Turbo-Trainer, is primarily used by the Swiss Air Force as a target towing aircraft for anti aircraft artillery training. In a secondary role, the aircraft can be equipped with a jammer for electronic counter measures to avoid anti aircraft defence and other combat aircraft .

Further information

The PC-9, successor of the PC-7 Turbo-Trainer, is equipped with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-62 engine, which is flat rated from 1150 shp to 950 shp. The Hartzell four-bladed propeller turns at a constant 2000 rpm. Both cockpits are equipped with Martin Baker ejection seats. Its prominent windscreen configuration and single piece canopy resemble the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The aircraft is flown mainly by pilots of the Target Mission Squadron 12, in the main operations areas of the AAA practice grounds in the Valais and the Engadin. The PC-9 can be fitted with a tow winch, with which a tow target can be deployed. The AAA units fire at these targets towed behind the aircraft and, if all safety requirements are met, live ammunition can be used. Gunnery missions are also practised at night. These trainer aircraft were acquired in three phases, the oldest aircraft having been operational since 1988. 

Technical data   
Max. speed: 320 knots, Mach 0.68
Max. rate of climb: 4'000 ft. per minute
Max. flightlevel: 25'000 ft. above sea level
Flight endurance: 5 hours at 20,000 ft. above sea level
Range: 830 NM at 20,000 ft. above sea level
Structure: Cantilever low wing aeroplane, all-metal semi monocoque design.
  Hydraulically operated undercarriage, landing flaps and air brakes.
Length: 10.175 m
Width span: 10.24 m
Height: 3.26 m
Empty mass: 1'750 kg
Flight mass: 2'250 kg (1 pilot, with fuel and without external loads)
Flight weight: 2'500 kg (1 pilot, with fuel and tow winch)
Engine: Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-62 propeller turbine