Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. is an aircraft manufacturer located in Stans, Switzerland. The company employs 1,441 people.  The company was established on 16 December 1939 and construction of a new production building started in March 1940. The first work for the new company was assembly of EKW C-35 reconnaissance biplanes from spare parts, and overhaul work on other types.

The first design project was a single-seat trainer, designated the P-1, although it was abandoned before being built. The next project was the construction of the SB-2 Pelican which had been designed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The SB-2 first flew on 30 May 1944 only one of the five-seat light transports were built.

In 1942 the company won a contract from the Swiss military to modify 33 EKW C-3603. Following on from the abandoned P-1 design the company started again on the development of a two-seat trainer, designated the P-2. The P-2 first flew on 27 April 1945 and the company won an order for the Swiss Air Force.

During 1945 the company produced a prototype single-engined light transport, designated the P-4, the P-4 first flew on 22 March 1948 but only one was built.  During the late 1940s the company produced a number of wooden glider designs and went on to produce fuselages and tail-booms for the licence-produced De Havilland Vampire and Venom.

In 1951 the company worked on the P-5, a design project for an artillery observation aircraft, it was not built.  With production of the P-3 for the Swiss Air Force in progress the company achieved its first export order for six P-3s for the Brazilian Navy.

In 1958 design work started on a STOL light civil transport aircraft, this emerged as the PC-6 Porter which first flew on 4 May 1959.  In 1965 a twin-engined variant of the PC-6 was built as the PC-8 Twin Porter, although it first flew on 15 November 1967 it remained an experimental and one-off type and development was stopped in 1972.  Another project for the PC-10 16-passenger twin-engined transport was started but was not built.

In a departure from the production of trainers and Porters the company bought the rights to the all-metal B-4 glider, Pilatus re-designed the B-4 for easier production and redesignated at the B-4/PC-11.  The PC-11 first flew on 5 May 1972 and the company went on to built 322.

In 1966 a turboprop-powered variant of the P-3 was flown, designated the PC-7.  The aircraft crashed and development was put on hold until the 1970s.  In 1975 a further prototype was flown and after further development it was marketed as the PC-7 Turbo Trainer.In 1979, Pilatus acquired Britten-Norman, constructor of the Britten-Norman Islander and Britten-Norman Defender aircraft.In 1982 development of an improved variant of the PC-7 was started, it emerged as the Pilatus PC-9 in 1984.  Development of what was to become the companies best selling type the Pilatus PC-12 was started in 1987, a single-engined turboprop transport that could carry up to twelve passengers or freight.  The prototype PC-12 was flown on 31 May 1991.The first PC-12 Eagle surveillance aircraft was built in 1995, further developments led to the PC-12 Spectre, and in recent years adoption of the PC-12 by the USAF as the U-28A.TSA Transairco SA of Geneva was procured by Pilatus in 1997. In 1998 Pilatus Australia Pty Ltd was established, while Britten-Norman was sold.To further the family of military training aircraft the turboprop PC-21 was developed and first flown in 2002.In December 2000, the owners Unaxis (previously called Oerlikon-Bührle) sold Pilatus to a consortium of Swiss investors. In July 2010 the company delivered its 1000 PC-12.

  • Pilatus SB-2 Pelican
  • Pilatus P-1 - 1941 project for a single-seat trainer, not built.
  • Pilatus P-2 - 1942
  • Pilatus P-3 - 1953
  • Pilatus P-4 - 1948
  • Pilatus P-5 - proposed artillery observation aircraft, not built.
  • Pilatus PC-6 Porter - 1959
  • Pilatus PC-7 - 1966
  • Pilatus PC-8D Twin Porter - 1967 twin-engined variant of the PC-6, prototype only
  • Pilatus PC-9 - 1984
  • Pilatus PC-10 - 1970 twin-engined transport project, not built.
  • Pilatus PC-11/Pilatus B-4 - 1972
  • Pilatus PC-12 - 1991
  • Pilatus PC-21 - 2001
  • Pilatus PC-24 - Proposed twin-engined jet.
Source: Wikipedia