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Pilatus - aircraft

1939–1949

The company was established on 10 December 1939 by the armament company Oerlikon-Bührle, and construction of a new production building started in March 1940. The company was formed to do maintenance and repairs for the Swiss Air Force, the first work of the new company was assembly of EKW C-35 reconnaissance biplanes from spare parts, and overhaul work on other types.

 

The first design project was a single-seat trainer, designated the P-1, although it was abandoned before being built. The next project was the construction of the SB-2 Pelican which had been designed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.The SB-2 first flew on 30 May 1944 only one of the five-seat light transports were built.

 

In 1942, the company won a contract from the Swiss military to modify 33 EKW C-3603. Following on from the abandoned P-1 design, the company started again on the development of a two-seat trainer, designated the P-2. The P-2 first flew on 27 April 1945, and the company won an order for the Swiss Air Force.

 

During 1945 the company produced a prototype single-engined light transport, designated the P-4, the P-4 first flew on 22 March 1948 but only one was built. During the late 1940s the company produced a number of wooden glider designs and went on to produce fuselages and tail-booms for the licence-produced De Havilland Vampire and Venom.

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