Pilatus PC-24 Prototype Completes Maiden Flight Successfully

The third and final prototype of Pilatus PC-24, P03, has completed its opening flight this week. This is a major milestone in the development program of medium-light jets.

P03 was in the air for nearly 2 hours and 5 minutes after taking off from Buochs airport in central Switzerland.

Oscar J. Schwenk, Pilatus Chairman, stated that he is delighted to see the P03 fling in air. The development of PC-24 is going as per plans and it is very encouraging to see the results. The data that have been obtained so far shows that Swiss business jet is performing better than the published figures.

The earlier two prototypes of Pilatus PC-24, P01 and P92, that were flight tested in May 2015 and November 2015, respectively, have already been flown for nearly 1,305 hours till date.

It is expected that the Swiss business jet will get certified in the fourth quarter of this year.

Pilatus PC-24 has the capability to take off and land from short runways and from unimproved runways. According to the company, the aircraft has a cabin size of a medium-light jet and the versatility of a turboprop.

The aircraft has a cargo door which comes as a standard and it will be the first in a business jet. Pilatus has created six color themes in collaboration with BMW Design works.

The P03 decorated in a pearluscent blue livery will make its first public appearance in May at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition.

A quick comparison of of Pilatus PC-24 with other mid-size private jets:

  • Costing nearly $9 million, the PC-24 is almost $10,000,000 cheaper
  • The weight of the aircraft is 17,650 lbs which makes its nearly 13,150 lbs lighter
  • Typical cruise altitude of 45,000 ft
  • Can fly with 4 passengers on board
  • Maximum cruise speed is 425 knots, which makes it nearly 39 knots slower as compared to other aircraft in the segment
  • It has a range of 1,950 nautical miles, which is short by nearly 1,050 nautical miles

Fuel cost for a nautical mile is $2.73, which makes it $0.85 cheaper per nautical mile.

In terms of average maximum range Pilatus PC-24 can fly 950 nautical miles farther than any private aircraft.

It can fly 22,000 ft higher as compared to all private aircraft, and it has a better climb rate compared to mid-sized private jet and all private aircraft.

For more information on Pilatus PC-24 you can check this website: http://planes.axlegeeks.com/l/419/Pilatus-PC-24

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