Pilatus Aircraft’s first production-standard PC-24 has taken a break from flight testing to make its EBACE debut, as the superlight business jet programme reaches the final stages of its certification campaign.
The aircraft, dubbed P03, is the third and final test example and joined the line-up in March. To date the fleet has accumulated more than 1,500h of flight testing across 950 sorties, the Swiss airframer says. Certification and service entry are on target for the fourth quarter.
US fractional ownership operator PlaneSense is the launch customer for the Williams International FJ44-4A-powered twin, with an order for six aircraft. The company is a long-standing Pilatus customer and the largest commercial operator of its PC-12NG single-engined turboprop with a fleet of 35.
P03 features Pilatus’s bespoke interior called Zermatt, and tailored pearlescent livery. The Stans-headquartered company is also showcasing at EBACE a full-scale mock-up of the PC-24's Vail interior, featuring a six-plus-two seating configuration.
"I'm delighted that we can now unveil the first series-conforming PC-24 to the general public at EBACE,” says Pilatus chairman Oskar Schwenk. “We are confident of being able to convince even more potential customers of the uniquely outstanding performance of our made-in-Switzerland business jet."
The PC-24 was unveiled at EBACE four years ago and the first production run of 84 aircraft was sold out in 36h. Pilatus says: “The order book is currently closed, but is due to re-open in 2018 after receipt of the first positive reports from PC-24 operators.”
The aircraft’s final performance characteristics will be published after certification, but Pilatus says the programme has "exceeded expectations".