Warplanes: Contractor Flight Instructors

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October 4, 2015: Australia is buying 49 Pilatus PC-21 basic flight training aircraft. Australia also has a new contractor (Lockheed Martin) to supply training staff for the basic flight training that future fighter and helicopter pilots receive. The training contract begins in 2019. The training operation also serves Singapore, Brunei and Papua New Guinea.  This sort of outsourcing is increasingly popular, mainly because it is cheaper, especially for smaller countries that can’t really operate a flight school at an economical rate. These contractors use the same quality (often retired military) staff and have been very successful.

The choice of trainer aircraft is also important and the PC-21 is a very popular and effective choice. The propeller driven PC-21 has a pressurized cockpit with a bubble canopy and a modern "glass" cockpit. The aircraft can pull 8 Gs while maneuvering. There are five hard-points, enabling the aircraft to carry a ton of bombs and missiles. The PC-21 cruises at 660 kilometers an hour and has a max speed of 720 kilometers an hour. Max altitude is 12,000 meters (38,000 feet).

 

 


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