Pilatus P-3

The Pilatus P-3 is a two-seat training aircraft designed as a cantilever low-wing monoplane. It was developed and subsequently built by the Swiss company Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG from 1952. Seventy-two were built for the Swiss Air Force and six for Brazil.

With the advent of jet-powered, nose-geared fighters, rethinking fighter pilot training was necessary. The intention was to create a type of aircraft that could be used to complete all beginner training up to the point of switching to a jet trainer. This should already bear some resemblance to the fighter jets in terms of visual, take-off, and landing characteristics.

Pilatus began working on the project in 1952 and named it the P-3. The first flight took place on 3rd September 1953; after testing by the Swiss Federal Aviation Office, type certification was granted. The Fliegertruppe (now Luftwaffe) tested the prototype in 1953/54. The aircraft was converted into the prototype PC-7 in 1966.

The two-seat P-3 is designed as a cantilever low-wing aircraft and is made entirely of metal. The full-view canopy goes over both seats and can be jettisoned in an emergency. The machine has a retractable undercarriage with low-pressure tyres and disc brakes.

Dual controls, blind flying, and radio equipment are the trainer’s standard equipment.

The Pilatus P-3 is in AIRPOWER22’s static display.

Pilatus P-3

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