Pilatus Seeks T-6 Royalties from Hawker Beech

Company asks for $1 million in back payments.

Hawker Beechcraft T-6

Hawker Beechcraft T-6

Hawker Beechcraft T-6

A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Tuesday heard a claim by Pilatus alleging that Hawker Beechcraft owes the Swiss company more than $1 million in royalties for the use of a Pilatus design for the airframe of Hawker Beech’s T-6/AT-6 military trainers.

Based on the Pilatus PC-9, the trainer has been used as the platform for the U.S. Air Force/Navy Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) contract, as well as for a number of international programs. The airplane also is Hawker Beechcraft's platform for the U.S. Air Force's Light Air Support program, a hotly contested competition that pits the T-6 against the Embraer Super Tucano.

According to Pilatus, Hawker Beechcraft stopped making royalty payments when it filed for bankruptcy protection, but the company has continued to build and deliver T-6 trainers.

Hawker Beechcraft filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, and is in the process of selling certain assets to a Chinese conglomerate.

Another hearing on the Pilatus payment issue is scheduled for August 30.