|TRAINER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / Switzerland / Pilatus|
The undoubted success of the P-2 led to development of a new general-purpose trainer under the designation Pilatus P-3, the prototype of which was flown for the first time on 3 September 1953. Intended for use as both a primary and advanced trainer, the P-3 is of cantilever low-wing monoplane configuration and differs from its predecessor by being of all-rnetal construction. It has retractable tricycle landing gear, but as the P-3 was required by the Swiss air force for 'all-through' training, from the primary stage to the point of passing on to the de Havil-land Vampire jet trainer, a lower-powered engine was adopted, the Avco Lycoming GO-435-C2A. Like the P-2 that preceded it into service, the P-3 has similar standards of equipment or weapons for comprehensive pilot training by day or night. A total of 72 P-3s was built for the Swiss air force, and in 1993 a handful of these remain in service; a small number was also supplied to Brazil, but these have since been superseded by trainers of indigenous design and construction.