Pilatus is accelerating serial production of its PC-24 business jet, with wing and fuselage mating on the first customer aircraft – serial number 101 – completed on 12 July.
"The process of attaching the wings to the fuselage demands accuracy to within a hundredth of a millimetre,” says the Swiss airframer.
Wing mating will be followed by cabin installation and testing of aircraft systems, it adds.
US fractional ownership company PlaneSense is the launch customer for the PC-24. It is scheduled to receive its first aircraft in the fourth quarter, immediately after European and US type certification of the superlight twin has been awarded.
Based in New Hampshire, PlaneSense is one of Pilatus’s oldest and largest customers, with an order for six PC-24s and a fleet of 35 PC-12NG single-engined turboprops.
The PC-24 was launched in 2013, marking the Swiss firm's first foray into the business jet market. Its introduction was met with enthusiasm, and the first production run of 84 units sold out within 36h. With demand for the Williams International FJ44-4A-powered aircraft so high, Pilatus is likely to reopen the orderbook later this year.
The PC-24 certification campaign is now in its final stages. Pilatus says the three test aircraft have notched up more than 1,700h of flight testing across 1,080 sorties.
The company will publish the aircraft’s final performance characteristics after certification.