Looking to the Future – for Over 80 Years

The field of aviation has witnessed many outstanding pioneering achievements. And the dream of flight remains as fascinating as ever. We are proud to be part of a long history which, for us, 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.


Early Years

Our 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 PC-7 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 Breakthrough

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 Take-off & Landings) credentials. Sales in the international aircraft market grew rapidly. The high demand continued until the end of production in 2022.

The Heritage of our Future

Flying, Precision, Customer Focus

Pilatus products were, and still are, the number one worldwide in their niche sector. Innovative products will continue to drive our success in the future. In the 21st century, the development and production of new, and even better, aircraft remains the core business at Pilatus.