29 April 2017 © David Eyre (Photos © Stephan Widmer)
The next two of 49 Pilatus PC-21 turboprop training aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) today commenced their delivery flight to Australia from the manufacturer’s facility in Stans, Switzerland.
The third aircraft, HB-HWC (MSN 236) with RAAF serial A54-003 taped over, and fourth aircraft, HB-HWD (MSN 237) with RAAF serial A54-004 taped over, departed Stans early this morning (Stans time).
They wore the tail markings of wearing tail markings of 2 FTS (2 Flying Training School), which is based at RAAF Pearce, north of Perth, Western Australia.
The first two aircraft, HB-HWA (MSN 234) with RAAF serial A54-001 taped over, and HB-HWB (MSN 235) with serial A54-002 taped over, were delivered from 10-20 February 2017, with delivery route being Buochs/Stans (Switzerland) – Bari (Italy) – Heraklion (Greece) – Luxor (Egypt) – Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) – Fujairah (UAE) – Ahmedabad (India) – Varanasi (India) – Chittagong (Bangladesh) – Bangkok Don Mueang (Thailand) – Seletar (Singapore) – Denpasar, Bali (Indonesia) – Kupang (Indonesia) – Darwin (Australia) – Mount Isa – Brisbane – (overflew Canberra) – RAAF Base East Sale.
The PC-21 will start flying operations at RAAF Base East Sale in mid-2017, with the first pilots course to start in early 2019.
42 of the PC-21 aircraft will be used as trainers at RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria and RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia. Three PC-21s are being acquired for the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) based at RAAF Edinburgh, South Australia, and four Forward Air Control variants will go to 4 Squadron, which currently operates the PC-9/A Forward Air Control variant from RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales.