The first Pilatus PC-24 jet prototype has left the production line for a spectacular rollout ceremony at the Pilatus factory. A reported 25,000 people turned up for the event – on Swiss National Day – for the official unveiling at Buochs Airfield, Stans.
The jet was pulled out of the hangar by a team of 24 horses – chosen to symbolise the number appearing in ‘PC-24’ and its future mission profile as a ‘workhorse’. The new jet had a simple paint scheme, featuring chrome and gold-coloured Alpine flowers.
The rollout was preceded by a fly-by of all the aircraft which have ever reached series production in the company’s 75 year history. More than 120 performers and 160 children of company employees made the rollout an unforgettable event for guests, customers and fans of Pilatus.
Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pilatus, was enthusiastic about the new PC-24.
“Today’s celebration is a clear sign of our commitment to Switzerland as a centre of vision and action. Our company was established here in Stans exactly 75 years ago. We have seen our activities grow and expand here in Stans, and this is where we want to be in the future: in Stans, producing our aircraft for sale to customers around the world.
“It’s wonderful that so many thousands of guests from Switzerland, and also from countries nearby and further afield, have made the effort to be with us here today, to celebrate this event together. The PC-24 marks a really important milestone in our 75-year history!“.
Local council to buy a PC-24
Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, who attended the event, paid tribute to the success of Pilatus in his speech, remarking on the new Swiss business jet with great pride. He also announced that the members of the Federal Council have voted to buy a PC-24 – a further sign of the confidence placed in the new Pilatus-produced jet!
The 100% newly developed PC-24 is the first time that the Pilatus values of versatility, efficiency and Swiss precision have been combined in a jet. The PC-24 is the world’s first ever business jet to come equipped as standard with a cargo door, and with the kind of performance that allows it to operate in and out of very short runways and unmade strips.
Three prototypes will be produced for the PC-24 test flight programme. The maiden flight of the first prototype, presented at the rollout, will go ahead in Spring 2015. Final certification and start of deliveries to customers are planned from 2017.
Pilatus sold 84 PC-24s at the European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (EBACE) in May this year.
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