IS THE PILATUS PC-24 THE WORLD’S MOST VERSATILE EXECUTIVE JET?
Founded in 1939, the Swiss aircraft company Pilatus got off to a slow start. It wasn’t until the 1960s that earnest production of commercially viable aircraft began. But now the single-engine turboprop PC-12 has cemented the success of the specialist manufacturer and promoted the development of their first executive jet, the PC-24.
Scheduled for delivery to customers in 2017, 84 sales have already been secured. The orderbook is now closed until 2019, to allow Pilatus to finalise testing and delivery. The certification program is under way with three new prototypes.
The PC-12 found favour with operators who required superior performance while possessing the ability to operate from short and unsealed airstrips. Consequently, many of the sales for the new PC-24 are from existing PC-12 operators who wanted the same characteristics in a faster executive jet.
Dubbed the ‘Super Versatile Jet’, the PC-24 is the world’s first business jet to come equipped as standard with a cargo door and these unique features will allow it access to some 21,000 airports and remote strips other jets cannot use. The pressurised in-flight baggage compartment is also capable of accepting a standard airfreight pallet.
The cabin interior can be tailored in several configurations ranging from an executive layout with 6-8 passenger seats to a commuter setup with room for up to 10 passengers. A ‘combi’ version has ample space for both passengers and cargo, plus a medivac/air ambulance version is sure to find use with current operators like Australia’s Flying Doctor Service. Plus the aircraft will be certified for use with a single pilot where permitted.
The PC-24 has a maximum speed of around 425 knots (787 kmh) and a maximum range with four passengers f 3610 km. The PC-24 is powered by two Williams FJ44-4A turbines, each of which produces 15,124 kN of thrust.
The price? Don’t expect any change from US$10 million.