Pilatus flies first PC-21 for UAE
The first flight of the first PC-21 for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force & Air Defence has taken place on November 22, 2010, one year to the day after the contract was signed.
Prior to first flight the aircraft was rolled out and presented to the UAE Air Force & Air Defence by Oscar Schwenk, Chairman & CEO of Pilatus Aircraft Limited, in a ceremony attended by members of the Pilatus executive management and project teams from both parties.
Take-off was successfully achieved at 10.34 and the first flight was performed by the Pilatus chief test pilot. A post flight debriefing was undertaken with the UAE Air Force & Air Defence, represented by Brigadier General Sami Saeed Al Nuaimi, and this formally closes the successful achievement of this element of the Project.
Delivery of the 25 PC-21 aircraft and the other key components of the Pilatus training system are scheduled to commence in the first quarter 2011, paving the way for UAE Air Force & Air Defence pilots to undertake basic and advanced flying training at Khalifa bin Zayed Air College, Al Ain, complementing the existing PC-7 fleet which has been in service for more than 26 years.