Pilatus’s first business jet, the PC-24, has received EASA and FAA type certifications, enabling customer deliveries. It is the culmination of 11.5 years’ work. The first official delivery will be made in January 2018 to PlaneSense, a US fractional aircraft business, and the PC-24 will enter service soon after. Pilatus plans to deliver 23 of the type in 2018, and now has eight PC-24s on the assembly line in Stans, Switzerland.
The ‘Super Versatile Jet’ is billed as marrying turboprop versatility, medium-light jet cabin space and light jet performance. Quick-change passenger seats and a movable aft partition – which enables the cabin or baggage compartment to be enlarged as required for each flight – contribute to the aircraft’s flexibility.
The cabin can accommodate up to 11 passengers plus a pilot (the aircraft is certified for single-pilot operation). It offers a 501ft³ (14.20m³) cabin volume and 90ft³ (2.50m³) baggage compartment. The cabin is 23ft (7.01m) long, 5ft 1in (1.55m) tall and 5ft 7in (1.69m) wide – or 3ft 10in (1.16m) at floor level. There is a flat floor throughout. The jet has two doors – a 53 x 24in (1.34 x 0.60m) passenger entrance and 51 x 49in (1.30 x 1.25m) cargo door.
“The PC-24 is the first ever Pilatus business jet,” said Oscar J Schwenk, chairman at Pilatus. “Naturally, the requirements associated with obtaining certification for this sort of aircraft are extremely rigorous, and I need hardly mention that we faced some big challenges. In 2013, we announced that the PC-24 would be ready in 2017, and now, shortly before the end of the year, we have achieved exactly that. And all performance data promised to our first 84 customers has been achieved or even exceeded. The PC-24 delivers a maximum speed of 440kts (815km/h) compared with the contractually agreed 425kts (787km/h) – to cite just one example.”
The development has involved an investment of more than CHF500m (US$504m), while CHF150m (US$151m) has been spent on expanding PC-24 production capacity in Stans. Pilatus is also investing in a completions and support center in the USA, a market it describes as one of its most important.
“I’m extremely proud of my workforce, and would like to thank Pilatus owners, the two aviation authorities and our first 84 PC-24 customers for their trust and confidence in myself and my team,” said Schwenk. “This project involved considerable risk, but we always believed 100% in our PC-24 and were prepared to go all the way to the limits of what we can reasonably do to ensure its success. Obtaining certification is our reward for so many years of untiring effort.”
Click here to read about the cabin in the October 2016 issue of Business Jet Interiors International
December 13, 2017