Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Indian Air Force Short Lists Three Aircrafts As Basic Trainers With Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II As Favorite

Latest reports from Indian Air Force (Bharatiya Vayu Sena) headquarter indicate that the technical evaluation leg of the contract for basic trainer for IAF is over and the price negotiations are underway. It is also learnt from reliable sources that the Swiss manufacturer has quoted the lowest price.

Initially there were 6 aircrafts which were vying for this USD 1 billion contract but IAF has narrowed it down to three manufacturer. This article will give you information on the three models and you make up your mind on which is the best amongst all of them.

The three models are
  1. Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II
  2. Korean Aerospace KT-1
  3. Hawker-Beechcraft T-6C Texan-II
As mentioned earlier the Pilatus is the favorite to win the contract, but at the present moment all the three are in contention

Pilatus PC-7 Mk-II
Since its introduction in 1994, the PC-7 MkII has come with an exceptional standard of equipment, performance, and cost-effectiveness in this class of training aircraft.

Offering a reliable and economic training platform, the docile behaviour of the PC-7 MkII in the hands of a beginner delivers a confidence-building environment for inexperienced cadets. With its highly cost-efficient Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-25C engine, it provides the lowest engine operating costs of all turboprop trainer aircraft.

The use of airframe and avionic systems common with the PC-9 M means owners and operators benefit from the synergies of a combined infrastructure established at Pilatus to support both aircraft types.

With its modern cockpit, matching performance and exceptional handling, the PC-7 MkII is an ideal training aircraft for air forces around the world.

Training Roles

  • Ab Initio Training
  • Basic Flying Training

Over 500 aircraft (PC-7 & PC-7 MkII) have been sold to 21 air forces around the world.

Click Here For An Interactive Presentation Of  The Cockpit

© Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.
To fulfil today’s requirement for basic pilot training and to optimise training efficiency, the cockpit of the PC-7 MkII was designed with three main criteria in mind: safety, intuitive system controls, and flexibility of avionics configuration. The stepped tandem cockpit layout provides excellent visibility from both cockpits, unobstructed by a front canopy bow. All instruments, displays and controls are ergonomically positioned to allow easy and safe operation of the aircraft in all flight regimes. The tandem arrangement of all controls, communications and navigation systems allows the instructor to effectively observe, assist, or override the student’s actions as necessary.

The PC-7 MkII takes full advantage of the development efforts we put into the latest version of the PC-9 M. Due to the modular design of our trainers, most systems available for the PC-9 M can also be integrated into the PC-7 MkII with only minor modifications, to guarantee a state-of-the-art cockpit layout and avionics.

Equipped with ejection seats, an anti-g system and On-Board Oxygen Generating System (OBOGS), the PC-7 MkII provides a comfortable, safe training environment.Pilatus offers cockpit configurations tailored to specific customer requirements. Avionic upgrades are also available for PC-7s and PC-7 MKIIs already in service.

Aircraft Data
The PC-7 MkII is a training aircraft powered by a 700 shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-25C turboprop engine with a Hartzell four-blade aluminium propeller. The de-rating of the engine from 850shp ensures low direct operating costs and a long engine life. The performance of the PC-7 MkII is docile enough for a beginner, but with sufficient power for more demanding basic phases.

The aircraft utilises conventional systems that are reliable, easy to operate and maintain. Access to the engine and systems is excellent. A hot section inspection can be carried out without engine removal, keeping maintenance and overhaul costs to a minimum.


 Take-off distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level

1,360 ft

415 m 

 Landing distance over 50 ft (15 m) obstacle at sea level

2,180 ft

665 m 

 Max. rate of climb, sea level

2,910 ft/min

14.79 m/sec 

 Max. operating speed (Vmo)

300 KEAS

556 km/h 

 Max. horizontal cruise speed at sea level (Vh)

242 KTAS

448 km/h 

 Max. horizontal cruise speed at 10,000 ft (Vh)

255 KTAS

472 km/h 
 Stall speed
  - flaps and gear up (Vs)
  - flaps and gear down (VSO so)



139 km/h

126 km/h 

 G loads

  - Max. positive

  - Max. negative

aerobatic configuration

7.0 g

- 3.5 g

utility category

4.5 g 

-2.25 g 

 Max. range

810 nm 

1,500 km 


 Basic empty weight (dep. on configuration)

3,771 lb

1,710 kg 

 Max. take-off weight, acrobatic configuration

4,960 lb

2,250 kg 

Dimension and Geometry

 Fuselage length

33 ft 4 in

10.18 m 

 Wing span

33 ft 5 in

 10.19 m 
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd - PC-7 Fact Sheet
© Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.

Korean Aerospace KT-1
The KAI KT-1 Woongbi (Hangul: KT-1 웅비) is a Korean single-engined turboprop, basic training aircraft. It was jointly developed by KAI and the Agency for Defence Development (ADD). The KT-1 is the first completely indigenous Korean aircraft ever developed.

© Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd.

© Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd.

Stepped Rear Cockpit Stepped Rear Cockpit Auto Rudder Trim
System (ARTS)
Mk16LF Zero-Zero
Ejection Sear
© Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd.


© Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd.

Main Avionic Systems
© Korean Aerospace Industries Ltd.

Hawker-Beechcraft T-6C Texan-II
The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engined turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (now Hawker Beechcraft).

The T-6 is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and by the United States Navy for Primary and Intermediate Joint Naval Flight Officer (NFO) and Air Force Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training. It has replaced the Air Force's T-37B Tweet and is replacing the Navy's T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is also used as a basic trainer by the Canadian Forces (CT-156 Harvard II), the Luftwaffe of Germany, the Greek Air Force, the Israeli Air Force (Efroni), and the Iraqi Air Force.

The T-6 is versatile, safe, and effective for the most basic flight training tasks. With a top speed of 316 knots, a 7G to 3.5 G airframe, and an advanced digital cockpit, it is equally adept at teaching the most advanced aerobatic maneuvers and simulated combat training tasks—tasks that could previously be accomplished only in far more expensive aircraft.

The T-6B is an advanced version of the T-6A Texan II. To replicate today’s high-tech frontline aircraft, the cockpit includes a Head-Up Display (HUD), Up-Front Control Panel (UFCP), and hands-on throttle and stick. An integrated glass cockpit and a state-of-the-art avionics suite greatly expands its training capabilities, enabling advanced systems and information management skills training. The T-6C is a derivative incorporating a hard-point wing for external fuel tanks.

To date, Hawker Beechcraft’s T-6 military trainer has been used to train pilots and navigators from approximately 20 different countries. The aircraft currently serves as the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy primary training aircraft, as well as the primary trainer for the NATO Flying Training Canada program, the Hellenic Air Force of Greece, the Iraqi Air Force, and the Israeli Air Force.

Hawker Beechcraft has designed and delivered a Ground Based Training System (GBTS) specifically developed as an integral part of the T-6 Total Training System. The T-6 GBTS is in use at five US Air Force and two Navy locations. An array of aircrew training devices bridge the gap between academics and aircraft sorties. Our high fidelity training devices exactly replicate cockpit layout and aircraft performance and operate consistently at a 99% mission effectiveness rate.

Hawker-Beechcraft T-6C Texan-II
©Hawker Beechcraft


Anonymous said...

Such a pity.India can fighter aircrafts but not basic trainers.Have we become habituated to live on others grace?

Anonymous said...

unfortunately u might be correct, we did not develop Kiran program further which was Indian made. With the experience of Tejas, HJT and old experience of Kiran we could have made one but IAF is in a hurry and they do not really trust AL and DRDO do they?

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