Despite having obtained EASA and FAA certification, the Pilatus PC-24 is continuing its flight test program, concentrating on unimproved airfields and difficult environments. The company plans to obtain certification for “rough fields” by the end of 2018, providing the aircraft more versatility than any other business jet.
“It is incredible to see the PC-24 in the harshest conditions, using an unpaved airstrip for the first time. This type of mission would not be conceivable without the Swiss engineering behind it,” said Oscar Schwenk, Chairman of Pilatus.
The PC-24 is described by the company as a Super Versatile Jet (SVJ) that combines the versatility of a turboprop with the cabin size of a medium-light jet and the performance of a light jet. Engineered to be “off-road” compatible from the beginning, the aircraft has outstanding short-field performance, even from unpaved runways. Pilatus has delivered 5 PC-24s to date and expects to deliver a total of 23 in calendar 2018.
The Bottom Line:
Just as it did with the PC-12, Pilatus has found a unique market niche for the PC-24, which offers unique capabilities. The PC-24 is single-pilot certified, has a standard cargo door, and the ability to operate from airports with runways under 3,000 feet. The PC-24 is advertised as being “over-engineered and proud of it” and has a unique position in the market. We expect it to sell quite well.