Pilatus PC-9M Hudournik (L9-65) from the Slovenian Air Force at the RIAT 2018, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
The Pilatus PC-9 is a single-engine, low-wing tandem-seat turboprop training aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland.
Designed as a more powerful evolution of the Pilatus PC-7, the PC-9's first flight was made in May 1984 after which certification was achieved in September 1985. After this, the first production orders for the type were received from the Royal Saudi Air Force, with deliveries commencing in 1985. Since then, more than 250 airframes have been produced across five different variants and the type is employed by a number of military and civilian operators around the world, including the Swiss Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Thai Air Force, and the Slovenian Air Force. The PC-9M version was introduced in 1997 as the new standard model. It has an enlarged dorsal fin in order to improve longitudinal stability, modified wingroot fairings, stall strips on the leading edges as well as new engine and propeller controls. Croatia bought 17 new examples in 1997; Slovenia placed an order for 9 (nicknamed "Hudournik" or Swift) in December of the same year; Oman ordered 12 examples in January 1999;
and Ireland signed a contract for 8 in January 2003. Bulgaria purchased 12 aircraft in 2004. The last order was made by Mexico in September 2006.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.
The 2018 Air Tattoo will reflect the 100th anniversary of the RAF with a commemoration
and celebration of a century of service to the United Kingdom and its allies.