The first ever Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet took off on its maiden flight on May 11, 2015. Nearly 1,800 Pilatus staff, all of whom are involved in the PC-24 project, witnessed the event. The aircraft flew across central Switzerland for 55 minutes, with the Swiss firm reporting that the flight went exactly as planned with no problems.
The twin-engine business jet took off in just under 600m and climbed to 10,000ft in around three minutes, where the two pilots completed a series of tests. Throughout the flight, the PC-24 was accompanied and monitored by a PC-21 and twelve flight test engineers watched the flight from the ground as they kept an eye on a stream of real-time flight data received from the PC-24.
“It’s an emotional moment for sure, and another major milestone in Pilatus and Swiss aviation history,” said Oscar J Schwenk, chairman of the board of directors at Pilatus.
Three PC-24 prototypes will be built and used to complete a test program of some 2,300 hours over the next two years. Certification and initial deliveries are planned from 2017. Pilatus sold 84 PC-24s in 36 hours at EBACE 2014. Highlights include a cargo door as standard and an interior that can be customized to accommodate individual customer needs.
May 15, 2015