January 28, 2010
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.”
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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