The third and final Pilatus PC-24 prototype, P03, completed its maiden flight this week, marking a significant milestone in the medium-light jet’s development program. P03 took off from Buochs airfield in central Switzerland Monday morning and flew for 2 hours and 5 minutes.
“I’m delighted to have seen the P03 in the air today,” said Pilatus Chairman Oscar J. Schwenk. “The PC-24 test flight 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.”
The first PC-24 prototypes, P01 and P02, which began flight testing in May 2015 and November 2015, respectively, have accumulated 1,305 total hours of flight time to date. Certification for the Swiss business jet is anticipated in this year’s fourth quarter.
Capable of taking off and landing on short runways and unimproved strips, Pilatus says the PC-24 will combine the versatility of a turboprop with the cabin size of a medium-light jet. Its design boasts a cargo door as standard — a first for a business jet — and six color themes created in partnership with BMW Designworks.
The P03, in a pearlescent blue livery, will make its public debut at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva in May.