Message 15.09.2015

The Story of a Zebra

We’ve seen many different liveries since the first PC-12 was delivered back in 1994. As far as colours and patterns are concerned, there are pretty much no bounds to creativity. One highly original scheme is the “Zebra”.

Built in 2000, the PC-12 with serial number 290 was originally used by Pilatus as a demo aircraft. In April 2003 it was sold to a horse lover and breeder. Not overly enthusiastic about the existing livery (different coloured stripes) – the new owner was keen to have his PC-12 decorated with a horse theme. There were several attempts at creating something resembling a horse coat but the results were unsatisfactory – the design lacked impact. Finally, someone suggested using a zebra motif, thinking that stripes would obviously be more eye-catching. The customer was delighted with the idea and the first PC-12 with hooves took to the skies soon after! The design is more subtle than just black and white stripes: a time-consuming airbrush technique was used to add shades of grey. The “belly” is also painted light grey – just like a real zebra.

Sold to the USA

Two years later, the owner decided to sell his PC-12 and Epps Aviation, our Sales and Service Center for Southeastern United States and the Caribbean, jumped at the chance to buy it. Once again, serial number 290 was put to work as a demo aircraft – in the USA this time – where it never failed to attract attention. A buyer appeared in March 2006. But Managing Director Pat Epps would only sell on one condition: the livery had to stay just as it was. He needn’t have worried, the new owner wasn’t about to make any changes: he and his wife love their zebra and have flown it all over the USA for private purposes for the past nine years. “My PC-12 is hangared, so the paintwork is still like new, even after twelve years”, says the current owner. With its unconventional look, his PC-12 has acquired a certain notoriety at a good number of American airports!

More flying Zebras

In late 2014 we delivered a second zebra-style PC-12, SN 1467, to a customer in Switzerland, so you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this very special livery here in Europe, too. Not to forget the eye-catching zebra stripes of the legendary PC-6, F-GLEU!