Pilatus PC-24, the first super versatile Twin-Jet.
By Javier Mota
Beyond the highest levels of luxury and communication technology, security, entertainment, or the ability to take off and land in short runways, even on pavement—fundamental conditions to go practically anywhere in the world— those who travel regularly by private jet, still need to go further and arrive sooner.
"For more than 10 years, since we started asking our PC-12 customers, the response has always been the same", said Oscar J. Schwenk, head of the Board of Directors of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. "In addition to maintaining the highly prized strong points of the PC-12, our development team faced a great challenge, and we are now proud to introduce a plane with exactly these qualities". The result is Pilatus`s new flagship aircraft; PC -24, a "super versatile jet", which by its own nature offers users access to more than 21,000 airports around the world.
The lauded jet was introduced last May during the "European Business Aviation Conference and Exposition" (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland. Schwenk has no doubt that the success of the firm, which has already sold 1,200 units of the popular PC-12, will be repeated with the new model. Purchase orders will begin during the EBACE 2014 Conference, with a base price of approximately $8.9 million. "The most important novelty is that the PC-24 has a completely new design.” This is by no means and imitation product. “Specifically, there is no other private jet on the market with the same credentials and qualities of our new jet".
All the new advancements of the Pilatus PC-24 represent, for future owners, a plane, which incorporates the traditional Swiss values of efficiency, precision and versatility. The cabin, for example, can be configured according to the individual specifications of each customer, with a sitting capacity of six, eight, or even 10 passengers and their luggage thanks to a loading door (part of the standard equipment) wide enough to accommodate even a motorcycle. The PC-24 can also be configured for emergency services should it be used as jet-ambulance.
The PC-24 can reach a maximum speed of 425 knots (491 miles per hour) and a range of independence of 2.256 miles. It uses two FJ44-4A turbines —the most powerful version manufactured by Williams—each produces 15,124 kN of thrust, enough to take off from short runways and reach 45,000 feet of cruise altitude. For the pilot, the new Pilatus includes "Advanced Cockpit Environment" (ACE ™) technology, which was developed to reduce the workload and facilitate an intuitive and efficient performance.
Work to develop this new aviation wonder is advancing at high speed, and Pilatus hopes to initiate their first test flight in the last quarter of 2014, although the wait for certification from the European aviation authorities (EASA) and United States (FAA) may be long. For that reason, they don’t expect their first delivery to customers before 2017. ■