January 28, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
The economy may be on shaky ground, but for Swiss manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. the news couldn’t be better. The company recently announced that in 2009 it delivered 100 of its PC-12 NG single-engine turboprops to customers worldwide.
“Achieving 100 deliveries in a single year is a significant milestone for Pilatus and the PC-12 NG production program,” said Ignaz Gretener, Pilatus vice president of general aviation.
Since its founding in 1939, Pilatus has been the hands-down worldwide best seller of single-engine turboprops of many types. In 2006, 2007, and 2008, Pilatus sold 90, 92, and 97 PC-12s, respectively. Reaching 100 sales annually has broken the PC-12’s delivery record. That this has happened in a down economy is all the more remarkable. A spokesman claimed that Pilatus’ “steady approach has allowed it to carefully grow yet stay appropriately lean.”
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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