Pilatus announced late last night that it has achieved certification for its Super Versatile Jet – the PC-24. Certification was reached both with the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency concurrently. The achievement is a major milestone for the Swiss manufacturer as the airplane is the first business jet to ever be certified in Switzerland, and with the typical punctuality of the Swiss, they did it on schedule.
“In 2013, we announced that the PC-24 would be ready in 2017, and now, shortly before the end of the year, we have achieved exactly that,” said Pilatus’s chairman Oscar J. Schwenk. “This project involved considerable risk, but we always believed 100 percent in our PC-24 and were prepared to go all the way to the limits of what we can reasonably do to ensure its success. Obtaining certification is our reward for so many years of untiring effort.”
While the PC-24 was announced in 2013, Pilatus admitted that the program has been in the making for more than 11 years.
“All performance data promised to our first 84 customers have been achieved or even exceeded,” Schwenk said. “The PC-24 delivers a maximum speed of 440 knots compared to the contractually agreed 425 knots – to cite just one example.”
Pilatus used three test airplanes for the program and 2,205 hours of flight testing was conducted, testing the edge of the flight envelope in the most extreme conditions in terms of speeds, temperatures and altitudes. FlightSafety's full motion Level D PC-24 simulator has also achieved interim qualification, allowing customers to start training for their type ratings at FlightSafety's facility in Dallas in the first quarter of 2018.
Pilatus’s Super Versatile Jet had a tremendous introduction as the company took 84 orders at the European Business Aviation Convention and Expo in 2014. Since then, the order book has been closed and will remain so until deliveries start to ramp up, which will likely be in the next few months. The company expects to deliver the first airplane to U.S. fractional PlaneSense before the end of the year at its headquarters in Stans. The airplane will then be flown to the U.S. for the official delivery in January.