The new Pilatus PC24 jet arrived in Orlando for the NBAA convention, making its first appearance at this event. The PC24 is a new light jet that will compete with the Embraer Phenom 300 and Cessna CJ4, and offers some unique features, including the ability to land on shorter runways, complementing the company’s rugged PC12 turboprop.
Pilatus indicated that the PC24 program is progressing on schedule and that the aircraft will exceed its previously published performance data. An update on performance is expected at EBACE 2017. To date, two prototypes have accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours and over 600 flights. Certification and initial deliveries are planned for the 3rd quarter of 2017.
The PC24 will be single pilot IFR certified, using Honeywell’s Advanced Cockpit Environment developed for this aircraft. Powered by two Williams FJ44 engines, the PC24 will have a cruise speed of 425 knots and a service ceiling of 45,000 ft, which it can reach in 30 minutes from take-off. The aircraft will have a maximum payload of 2,500 pounds at a range of 1,190nm, and a payload of 915 pounds with full fuel.
A quick comparison with competing aircraft on several parameters shows that the PC24 should be a formidable competitor in the light jet segment based on today’s published numbers, which the aircraft is now projected to beat.
We believe the PC24 will be well accepted in the light jet marketplace, and occupy a unique niche with its short-field capabilities. Pilatus has specialized in aircraft with unique capabilities, and the PC24 should build on the success of the PC12 in the business aircraft marketplace.