First Spanish Air Force PC-21 assembled
The first Pilatus PC-21 for the Ejército del Aire (EdA, Spanish Air Force) was noted being assembled at the Pilatus factory in Stans (Switzerland). The aircraft, serial E.27-01/792-01 (#10239, construction number 314) was fully painted in the bright markings of the EdA training unit Escuela Elemental (792 Esc.) with La Academia General del Aire (AGA) based at Murcia/San Javier.
On 28 November 2019, Scramble Magazine reported that Spain will acquire 24 Pilatus PC-21 turboprop training aircraft to replace its Casa C101EB Aviojet trainers. With the order, the Swiss manufacturer Pilatus has beaten Beechcraft (with the T-6A Texan II) and Embraer (with the EMB314 Super Tucano).
On 26 November 2019, Spain’s decision to buy the Pilatus PC-21 was announced by the government’s procurement platform: Plataforma de Contratacion del Sector Publico (PCSP).
According to PCSP, Pilatus will supply the PC-21s, plus its Integrated Training System (ITS) - more efficient and better adapted to the use of modern technologies. The contract is valued at USD 204,75 million.
The first Aviojets will gradually be retired from September 2021. By 2027, all Aviojets will be retired, which requires to begin training on the PC-21 in the 2021-22 time frame. To allow training of the first eight instructors, the first six PC-21s and one simulator must be delivered by March 2021.
As said, the PC-21s will replace the C101EB for basic training. But they will also replace the Enaer T-35C Pillán for elementary flight training.
The defensa.com website has a video where you can see the assembly of the first PC-21 for the Ejército del Aire.