A first PC-21 for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) wearing a new grey colour scheme emerged for its pre-flight tests recently. The aircraft, A54-045/HB-HWS (c/n 278), was rolled out of the Pilatus factory at Stans-Buochs on July 12. The aircraft, which also has a sharkmouth marking, is destined for the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) – in fact, it is the third PC-21 for the unit. The other two PC-21s for the ARDU are serials A54-017 and A54-018. The last four PC-21s for Australia (A54-046 to A54-049) – also with the grey colour scheme – will serve in the forward air control training role with No 4 Squadron.
Another five RAAF PC-21s arrived in country in May. Three of these arrived at Adelaide Airport from Alice Springs on May 5, comprising A54-034/HB-HWH (c/n 267), A54-035/HB-HWI (c/n 268) and A54-036/HB-HWJ (c/n 269), which had left the factory in Stans on April 26. Of these, A54-034 had been due to go with an earlier dispatch but had been delayed at Stans by a problem.
The next pair to be received were A54-037/HB-HWK (c/n 270) and A54-038/HB-HWL (c/n 271), which arrived at Adelaide on May 26.
Australian PC-21s A54-039 and A54-040 subsequently left Switzerland on delivery during June, but the first of these returned to Stans, presumably after the ferry pilot encountered a problem with the aircraft.