Pilatus has presented its latest flagship at this year’s European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) from 29 to 31 May in Geneva. Five customers have already received a brand-new PC-24 since deliveries started in February 2018. Series production work on the 84 PC-24s ordered in 2014 is now in full swing at the Pilatus headquarters in Stans. The positive feedback from the first PC-24 owners is very promising: PlaneSense, the very first customer, took delivery of its PC-24 with serial number 101 in early February 2018 and has already flown over 300 hours. This American fractional ownership company has used its PC-24 at various North American airports, including some at high altitude and with short runways. The PlaneSense experience validates the capability of the PC-24 for tough daily operational use.
Pilatus has planned a total of 23 PC-24 deliveries in 2018. They include an executive version for Jetfly and the Swiss government, and a medevac version for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. The first of the Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jet aircraft for the RFDS recently took off on its maiden flight.
The PC-24 prototypes are currently undergoing various post-certification tests. The main focus is on steep approaches and landing-takeoff operations on unmade runways, which require various individual tests. The post-certification test programme is scheduled for completion within the year.
Oscar Schwenk, Chairman of the Board of Directors, comments: “Many aviation experts have already told us that the PC-24 is an exceptional aircraft with excellent flight characteristics. We are now receiving initial feedback from our customers, and we are pleased to report it is extremely positive, too. We have good reason to feel confident! The PC-24 has potential, technical and otherwise, and I can guarantee that we will make our ‘darling’ even better yet! We intend to re-open the PC-24 order book in the near future, as soon as we are absolutely certain that everything is going as expected.”