Pilatus Aircraft Ltd was incorporated in Stans exactly 75 years ago to the day, on 16 December 1939. Providing a perfect finale to this anniversary year 2014, Hans Erni, the world-renowned Swiss painter, designed the colour scheme for our new PC-12 NG demo aircraft.
Hans Erni was born on 21 February 1909 in Lucerne. Now 105, he is a painter, graphic artist and sculptor of international repute. He has created countless lithographs, over 300 posters and several murals for e.g. the Swiss Red Cross, the IOC, UNO, UNESCO and the ICAO, as well as numerous public and private businesses. Erni qualified as a private pilot in 1946 and many of his works of art are dedicated to aviation.
The royal blue background of the PC-12 NG is decorated with white horses, doves of peace and a depiction of Pegasus, all drawn by Hans Erni. The animals were chosen to symbolise the PC-12 NG’s credentials as a workhorse whilst also underlining its excellent flight characteristics.
Today, putting the finishing touch to his work, Hans Erni added his signature and the date to the PC-12 NG’s engine cowling at his workshop in Lucerne, thereby ensuring that this particular aircraft, series number 1515, remains absolutely unique.
On the same occasion, Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pilatus, presented Hans Erni with a model of the PC-12 as a souvenir of his work.
Hans Erni spoke with pride of his involvement:
“I’ve been lucky enough to have worked on many exceptional things in my life – but never yet on such a fantastic aircraft! I’m proud to think that my drawings are now destined to fly around the world!”
Oscar J. Schwenk was equally enthusiastic about the new PC-12 NG:
“This is the first time that such a well-known artist has been involved with the design of one of our aircraft. This aircraft is symbolic of an innovative Swiss company: Pilatus.
We are proud that the name Hans Erni will be associated with our aircraft on its demo assignments in 2015, delighting our customers and fans on every continent.
On behalf of Pilatus, I would like to express my warm thanks to Hans Erni for his work, and for this wonderful result.”
Pilatus has sold over 1,300 PC-12s since the aircraft was launched in 1994, making it one of the world’s most successful turboprop aircraft ever. The “Hans Erni PC-12” will be on display at numerous air shows and conventions next year, including EBACE in Geneva, Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, JetExpo in Moscow and the Paris Air Show.
Source: Pilatus Aircraft.