The VFW 614 was produced in small numbers during the early- to mid-1970s by VFW-Fokker, a company resulting from a merger between VFW and the Dutch aircraft company Fokker. However, the program was officially cancelled in 1977, the anticipated sales and thus production having not been achieved.
Role Light trainer aircraft
Manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft
First flight 12 April 1966 (prototype)
18 August 1978
Status In service, in production
Primary users Indian Air Force / Mexican Air Force
South African Air Force / Royal Malaysian Air Force
Number built >618
Developed from Pilatus P-3
Variants Pilatus PC-9
All export sales of the PC-7 are subject to approval by the Swiss Government, whose authorisation is required prior to any delivery taking place. The sale of combat-capable aircraft has been a controversial matter at times, and political pressure has been applied for PC-7s to be shipped without the fittings for armaments being installed. The Swiss government has occasionally held up or outright refused to issue export licences for some nations, a move which has reportedly lead to the loss of several potential sales, such as to South Korea and Mexico.
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Fokker Dr.1 Dreindecker "fighters"
The first two pre-production triplanes were designated F.I, in accord with Idflieg’s early class prefix for triplanes. These aircraft, serials 102/17 and 103/17, were the only machines to receive the F.I designation and could be distinguished from subsequent aircraft by a slight convex curve of the tailplane’s leading edge. The two aircraft were sent to Jastas 10 and 11 for combat evaluation, arriving at Markebeeke, Belgium on 28 August 1917.
Richthofen first flew 102/17 on 1 September 1917 and shot down two enemy aircraft in the next two days. He reported to the Kogenluft (Kommandierender General der Luftstreitkräfte) that the F.I was superior to the Sopwith Triplane. Richthofen recommended that fighter squadrons be reequipped with the new aircraft as soon as possible.
An improved model of the aircraft, the PC-7 Mk II, was developed during the 1990s by combining the newer PC-9's airframe and avionics with the PC-7's smaller turbine engine. Reportedly, in excess of 500[needs update] PC-7s have been sold to various operators, the majority of which still being in service. In Pilatus' line-up, the PC-7 has been succeeded by the newer PC-9 and PC-21 trainers.
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