MISSION: One of Air Force's new Pilatus PC-21 aircraft during a flight in the Gippsland region.
MISSION: One of Air Force's new Pilatus PC-21 aircraft during a flight in the Gippsland region. FLTLT Ash Kissock

New PC-21 to give pilots the cutting edge

CAF AIRMSHL Leo Davies was very keen to fly Air Force's latest flying training aircraft - the PC-21.

CAF took control of the aircraft in a navigational exercise to strike a target with a simulated weapon over East Sale, Victoria.

By early 2019, the new fleet of cutting-edge PC-21 aircraft will replace the PC-9/A, which has been in service since 1987.

Under Project AIR 5428, more than $300million is being invested in new state-of-the-art training facilities, which incorporates seven new PC-21 flight simulators, both at RAAF Base East Sale and at RAAF Base Pearce in Perth.

AIRMSHL Davies flew in one of the first six new Air Force Pilatus PC-21 training aircraft, which were officially welcomed by Defence Minister Marise Payne on August 11.

CAF said he was impressed with the opportunity which awaited new trainees who would serve at East Sale in the years to come.

"If we are going to attract young men and women to our fifth-generation Air Force, we will need a fifth-generation training system,” AIRMSHL Davies said.

GPCAPT Tan said the PC-21 was a "fantastic aircraft to fly but it was the flexibility inside that counts”.

"With a contemporary flight management system and mission computer, coupled with a 'glass cockpit' including three multi-function displays and a Head Up Display (HUD), the new challenge is to be able to manage the vast amount of information available to the pilot,” GPCAPT Tan said.