YouTube – Pilatus PC-9
pilot and student
P&W PT6A-62 turboprop
33 ft. 4 in.
33 ft. 5 in.
+7.0 / -3.5
The Pilatus PC-9 has been the basic trainer of the Australian Defense Forces since 1987. It is manufactured in Switzerland. It is the aircraft used by the Australian Roulettes aerobatic flight demonstration team. Their pilots are fond of the aircraft.
Flying the Pilatus PC-9
Flying the Pilatus PC-9 is a real pleasure. The controls are firm while being light and responsive. Performance is excellent and its flying characteristics great.
All around visibility from the bubble canopy is outstanding, with no obstruction from windshield framing. The seats are high in the cockpit further aiding visibility.
Taxiing the aircraft to the runway for takeoff is a pleasant experience. The cockpit is roomy, the seats comfortable, and all instruments and controls are within easy reach and logically placed.
When ready to take off the throttle is advanced to 40 psi torque to get moving. Once under way, the throttle is pushed forward to maximum power that is rewarded with very fast acceleration. A bit of right rudder pressure keeps the aircraft on the runway center line. Rotation is at 80 KIAS. At 130 KIAS the gear is retracted. Climb is very fast needing minimal stick back pressure. Also pitch can be maintained with minimum trim. However, relatively minor throttle changes necessitate rudder trim.
At cruising altitude the Pilatus PC-9 has an excellent, solid feel, yet will quickly respond to control inputs. A power off stall can be induced by throttling back to idle while increasing backward pressure on the control stick. Control can be maintained until just before the stall. In clean configuration that will be at around 75 KIAS when some buffeting can be felt and the controls become minimally responsive. Applying full power while moving the stick forward will quickly have the aircraft flying under full control again, but attention must be paid to the rudder to correct for the sudden onset of torque.
A level aileron roll can be quickly accomplished at about 200 KIAS with minimal stick pressure. Alternating rudder is not necessary and the aircraft goes exactly where pointed.
Loops are at 250 KIAS, again with minimal back pressure. The Pilatus PC-9 demonstrates its stability by going where pointed, needing minimal aileron correction.
Stall turns are made with a little forward stick pressure and plenty of ailerons at the top. A small amount of opposite rudder will stop any yaw going nose down. Nose down is held until the engine is stabilized and recovery is no problem.
Steep turns are accomplished with minimal stick back pressure holding the aircraft steadily on the horizon. There is no need to be concerned about overshooting or undershooting when exiting the turn as this, like all maneuvers, is accomplished very smoothly.
The Pilatus PC-9 seems made for aerobatics. It accomplishes them precisely with minimal effort. All this is helped by the excellent visibility from its cockpit.
For landing the throttle is set to around 18 psi with an airspeed of about 130 KIAS when the landing gear are lowered. This slows the aircraft down rapidly while lowering the nose slightly. The throttle is then advanced to 21 psi and the elevator trimmed a bit to hold level flight at 1,000 feet. There is no sense of loss of precision control, even as speed decreases.
If a go around is necessary it is accomplished with full power applied and gear up while climbing. There is just a slight delay in throttle response from its low psi setting.
When flying base the throttle is pulled back to around 10 psi bringing the speed down to around 95 KIAS. Forward vision remains excellent despite the long nose of the aircraft. Flare is at around 85 KIAS with no tendency to balloon, and the set down is smooth as silk.
In addition to Australia, Germany, Jordan, and the U.S. all fly the Pilatus PC-9.
Over 260 Pilatus PC-9 aircraft have been manufactured to date.
RC Pilatus PC-9
The RC Pilatus PC-9 from Seagull Models is an all wood ARF with a wingspan of 71 in. and length of 66 in. It weighs about 11 lbs. ready to fly and comes with mechanical retracts. It can be powered by a 1.2 two cycle engine or a 110 motor.