This aircraft can be regarded as the turboprop trainer 2.0. It has an even better performance than the previous Pilatus trainers, in particular the PC-9. Now, student pilots can learn the majority of their flying skills in a single aircraft, before transitioning to a jet.
The PC-21 retains the basic layout of most turboprop trainers. Key features are the high fuselage with a two-piece canopy, a shark-like top of the vertical stabiliser, small ventral fin, trailing link main landing gear, bent up wingtips (not really winglets), propeller with five blades and a bigger prop spinner, giving the nose even more a shark-like appearance than similar aircraft.
Confusion possible with
The PZL130 has many characteristics of the PC-21. If you look well you see that the leading edge of the fin is more an S shape than on the PC-21. Also the wing tips are more bent up, more like winglets.
The Hürkus has a similar high fuselage as the PC-21. However, it has small winglets to make identification from the PC-21 easy.
The PC-9 heritage in the PC-21 is clear, but there are many differences. The easiest onces are the prop with four or five blades, wings without and with continuous dihedral and top of vertical stabiliser.
Being derived from the Pilatus PC-9 it is logical that it share a lot of similarities with the Texan II. Hence the same differences compared to the PC-21 are applicable. Furthermore, the T-6 has a three-piece canopy.
KAI KT-1 Woong-Bee
This Korean aircraft more resembles the PC-9 than the PC-21. However, the wings have dihedral along the full span and the nose gear doors are shorter.
Especially the Shorts Tucano has a similar canopy as the PC-21, which may confuse you. However, all Tucano's have a nose gear that is close to the prop, much closer than the other aircraft mentioned here.