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Pilatus test flies first PC-21 trainer aircraft for UAE Air Force

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The PC-21 trainer aircraft. A Pilatus photo

BUOCHS, SWITZERLAND (BNS): The first Pilatus PC-21 advanced trainer aircraft for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force and Air Defence has successfully completed its maiden flight test.

The single-turboprop aircraft, manufactured by Switzerland-based company Pilatus, undertook its flight test from the Buochs airfield in Switzerland on Monday, the company said.

Prior to the flight, the aircraft was rolled out and presented to the UAE Air Force & Air Defence.

The flight test serves as the final check for quality control and conformance. After engine checks on the runway, the pilots will climb to 10,000 feet overhead the airfield, shut down and then restart the engine in flight in order to prove the functionality of the engine related systems, Pilatus said.

UAE in 2009 had placed an order for 25 PC-21 aircraft for worth $491 million.

Pilatus said it will start delivering the PC-21 trainers and other key components of the aircraft to UAE in 2011.

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