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.
|Role||Light trainer aircraft|
|First flight||12 April 1966 (prototype) |
18 August 1978 (production)
|Status||In service, in production|
|Primary users||Indian Air Force|
Mexican Air Force
South African Air Force
Royal Malaysian Air Force
|Developed from||Pilatus P-3|
The company has mostly produced aircraft for niche markets, in particular short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft as well as military training aircraft. During the 1950s and 1960s, Pilatus developed on a short takeoff and landing (STOL) light civil transport aircraft, the PC-6 Porter. During 1973, it was decided to restart work on the PC-7 programme; it entered production as the PC-7 Turbo Trainer. In 1979, Pilatus acquired Britten-Norman, constructor of the Britten-Norman Islander and Britten-Norman Defender aircraft. During the 1980s, it developed the PC-9, an improved derivative of the PC-7.