Originally published in AIN magazine
Pilatus has announced the first flight of its third prototype PC-24 twinjet. The March 6 maiden voyage of “series-conforming” aircraft P03, registered HB-VSA, lasted two hours and five minutes, taking off from Buochs Airport in Switzerland. P03, the last prototype, joins its two siblings in the flight-test program, which began in May 2015 when P01 first flew. Certification is expected in the fourth quarter.
Deliveries of the first PC-24s will begin shortly after certification, with the first going to launch customer PlaneSense. Pilatus stopped taking orders after signing sales contracts for the first 84 shortly after the program was announced in May 2013. Pilatus will install a “Zermatt” executive interior in HB-VSA, one of six interior and exterior themes designed in cooperation with BMW Group’s Designworks, and it will be on display at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exposition (EBACE) in Geneva, May 22 to 24.
Oscar Schwenk, Pilatus chairman of the board said, “The PC-24 flight-test program is proceeding as planned and the results are very encouraging. The data we have so far indicates that our Swiss business jet exceeds published performance figures. I am naturally looking forward with immense anticipation to the moment when our first customers take delivery of their PC-24s.”