In 1945 the Swiss Air Force sought a new trainer which would allow easy transition into types such as the Messerschmitt Me 109. Designed using an Me 109 undercarriage and Argus engine and propeller, early variants using Hispano engines and Esher-Wyss propellers were tested in hopes of avoiding war-time shortages. However, by the time Pilatus P2-05s and P2-06s went in to production in 1947, Argus engines and propellers could be secured from Czechoslovakia.
The initial order for 28 P-05 variants, which were unarmed trainers, began arriving in May of 1947. A second order of 26 P2-06 variants began production in 1948 and was completed by 1950. These aircraft remained in service with the Swiss Air Force for more than 30 years. Some 20 aircraft were scrapped before the Dudendorf factory intervened to stop the unnecessary destruction. Some of the remaining aircraft were sold to private owners.
The Museum's aircraft originally was purchased at Dudendorf by Aeromech Limited and flown to England in August of 1981.The original pressurized fuel system on this aircraft required specialized refueling equipment not provided in the purchase. A more practical gravity-fed system was installed. After the Airworthiness Certificate was issued, a nine-month search for replacement tires kept the airplane grounded. Since 1981, this airplane has be seen on display at museums and participating in air shows throughout the UK.
Planes of Fame Air Museum eventually acquired the aircraft after it found its way to the U.S. from the U.K. The Museum’s Pilatus P2-06, U-142, was restored to flying condition and is being used by Museum pilots to transition into the Hispano HA-1112- MIL (Spanish-built Me-109G). In this photo, the Museum's Swiss Pilatus P-2-06 is dressed up like a BF-109. Pilatus P-2 aircraft have dressed up in movies as Luftwaffe BF-109s several times, the most prominent being in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Manufacturer: Pilatus Aircraft
Registration Number: N5241M
Serial Number: 62
Max T/O Weight: 4,330 lb.
Span: 36 ft. 4 in.
Length: 29 ft. 8 in.
Height: 8 ft. 9 in.
Maximum Speed: 195 mph
Cruise Speed: 160 mph
Rate of Climb: 1,280 ft/min
Power Plant: 1 × Argus HAVE-410-A2 inverted V12 air-cooled piston engine, 465 hp