Swiss manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft has obtained type certificates from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the PC-24 light jet.
Deliveries of the PC-24 will start immediately to the launch customer, US fractional operator PlaneSense.
Oscar J. Schwenk, chairman of Pilatus, said, “The PC-24 is the first ever Pilatus business jet. Naturally, the requirements associated with obtaining certification for this sort of aircraft are extremely rigorous, and I need hardly mention that we faced some big challenges.
“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.
“And all performance data promised to our first 84 customers have been achieved or even exceeded. The PC-24 delivers a maximum speed of 440 knots (815 km/h) compared to the contractually agreed 425 knots (787 km/h) – to cite just one example.”
Major investments in Switzerland and USA
Pilatus invested over 500 million Swiss francs of its own funds in the PC-24 development programme. A further 150 million francs went into buildings and state-of-the-art production machinery at Stans in order to expand our PC-24 series production capacity in parallel. Pilatus currently has eight PC-24s on the assembly line in Stans, with 23 deliveries to customer around the world planned throughout 2018.
In the USA – one of the most important markets for the company – Pilatus invested in a new completions and support center. The interior design will be discussed with the PC-24 customers on site before implementation.
“I’m extremely proud of my workforce, and would like to thank Pilatus owners, the two aviation authorities and our first 84 PC-24 customers for their trust and confidence in myself and my team,” said 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.”
First customer delivery
The first PC-24 will be handed over to the American fractional aircraft ownership business PlaneSense in Stans in December. The aircraft will then be flown to the USA in January 2018, for official delivery to the customer.
The first business travellers will enjoy flying aboard it soon after, and may look forward to arriving at their destinations faster, thanks to the PC-24’s unique ability to use short runways.