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Last of Its Kind 1959 Pilatus P3 Is a Warbird Training Gem

If you’ve been watching us these past few months, then you might have noticed that from time to time, we feature so-called warbirds, the airplanes of old designed to do battle in the sky. You might also be familiar by now with the word Pilatus.
1959 Pilatus P3 8 photos
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Pilatus Aircraft is the name of a Swiss airplane manufacturer. In the business of making winged machines since 1939, it has been responsible for a number of interesting designs, most of them used for training purposes. It has also produced niche offerings such as short takeoff and landing aircraft.

Since we’re more interested in warbirds, we naturally focused on the training airplanes made by the Swiss, and we already got wind of two of them (a P2 and a PC-7) being up for grabs on the open market. And now comes a third, from the P3 family.

P3s were introduced in 1956 as night flying, aerobatics, and instrument flying trainers. For some reason, they were not as popular as the other ones in the company’s portfolio, and just under 80 units later, production stopped. The one we have here is the last one ever made, assembled in 1959.

It served with the Swiss Airforce (P3s were also used by the Brazilian Navy), and at the time of writing, it shows a time since new of 4,044 hours. According to the listing of this aircraft, it has always been hangared, and there are no incidents it was part of.

The plane is powered by the original Lycoming engine that spins a 3-bladed Hartzell propeller. Its maximum speed is 310 kph (190 mph), and it can fly at a maximum altitude of 5,500 m (18,000 ft). Being a training aircraft, it is not equipped with any weapons.

The price for this plane was not disclosed, but for reference, we’ll tell you the PC-7 is going for $698,000, while the P2 sells for just $180,000.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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