French Air Force receives PC-21
French Air Force receives first Pilatus PC-21 trainer aircraft.

On August 30, the first two French Air Force Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainers arrived at the Base aérienne 709 Cognac-Châteaubernard, France. During their route, the aircraft were "intercepted" by a FAF Rafale for a photoshoot.

Pilatus has completed the production of all PC-21 turboprop trainers ordered by France at the beginning of the year, but they were not delivered immediately to France. Some of the FAF PC-21s were temporarily parked in the old military caverns of the former Swiss Air Force base at Stans-Buochs.

France selected the PC-21 in December 2016 when a deal was signed with the French subsidiary of Babcock, the company forming a joint venture with Dassault Aviation. The so-called FOMEDEC contract lasts 11 years and will provide fast jet pilot and navigator training for the French Air Force. Simulation specialist CAE will provide ground training devices under a subcontract.

The Armee de l’Air will base the entire PC-21 fleet and simulators at Cognac-Châteaubernard, where they will replace the Grob G 120A and Socata TB-30 Epsilon.

The official delivery ceremony is planned for the first days of October 2018.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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