Looking to the Future - for the Past 70 Years
The field of aviation has witnessed many outstanding pioneering achievements. And the dream of flight remains as fascinating as ever. Pilatus is proud to be part of a long history which, started on 16 December 1939. On that day, a small maintenance outfit was set up to work for the Swiss Air Force in Stans, in the heart of Switzerland. World events at that time naturally ensured there was much innovation and development in the aviation industry, but no one could have foreseen that the founding of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd would mark the start of an international success story. Pilatus has gone from strength to strength since then, with a name that has always stood for Swiss quality and innovation. Pilatus products were, and still are, the number one worldwide in their niche sector.
The history as a manufacturer of new aircraft types began with the SB-2 Pelikan, built in 1940 and designed for use in mountain regions such as the Swiss Alps.
But the P-2 and P-3, both of which were flown by the Swiss Air Force, brought Pilatus its first enduring success. The P-3 was also used by Swissair, as it was known back then. These two trainer aircraft delivered the experience Pilatus needed to succeed both in Switzerland and around the world.
The real breakthrough came in 1959 with the Pilatus Porter PC-6. An exceptionally rugged aircraft, the PC-6 is distinguished by its versatility and excellent STOL (Short Takeoff & Landings) credentials. Growth in sales on the international aircraft market was swift, and the PC-6 is still very much in demand.
Innovative products will continue to drive success in the future. In the 21st century, the development and production of new, and even better, aircraft remains the core business at Pilatus.