A PC-7 mkII Astra for the South African Air Force (SAAF) has successfully completed its first flight since an avionics upgrade from Pilatus.

As part of the fleet modernisation programme, SAAF contracted Pilatus to replace avionic equipment from its fleet of 35 PC-7 mkIIs with new modern ‘glass cockpit’ components.

The trial installation upgrade was performed at Pilatus Aircraft in Switzerland to validate the modifications, kit lists, tooling and procedures that would be required to perform the modifications of the remaining aircraft in South Africa.

Aerosud, under contract to Pilatus, will undertake the rest of the fleet modification at Langebaanweg Air Force Base in South Africa.