The third and final Pilatus PC-24 prototype, P03, which also represents the series aircraft standard, took off from Buochs airfield today at 9.45 to complete its maiden flight.
In the wake of the maiden flights by the first PC-24 prototypes, P01 in May 2015 and P02 in November 2015, this marks another major success for Pilatus.
The eye-catching blue Super Versatile Jet, registration HB-VSA, flew across Central Switzerland for 2 hours and 5 minutes. This flight marks another important milestone in the Pilatus PC-24 development program. The P03 completes the fleet of PC-24 test aircraft. The first two prototypes have flown a total of 1350 hours to date, including numerous significant test flights.
Certification flights will be flown with the series conform P03.
Certification of the PC-24 is expected in the 4th quarter of 2017. Initial deliveries of the 84 pre-ordered aircraft will go ahead immediately after certification is obtained.
Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented as follows on progress with the PC-24 program:
“I’m delighted to have seen the P03 in the air today! The PC-24 test flight program is proceeding as planned and the results are very encouraging. The data we have so far indicate that our Swiss business jet exceeds published performance figures. I am confident that certification will be achieved in the 4th quarter, and am naturally looking forward with immense anticipation to the moment when our first customers take delivery of their PC-24”
The P03 will be presented to the general public for the first time at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, in May this year. It will be kitted out with a “Zermatt” executive interior following today’s maiden flight.
The PC-24 is the first business jet worldwide to be equipped with a cargo door as standard and is capable of taking off and landing on very short runways and unmade strips. The jet also boasts an extremely spacious cabin designed for easy adaptation to personal requirements. Six stylish color themes have been created in partnership with Designworks, a BMW Group company, and are named after well-known ski resorts such as “St. Moritz”, “Zermatt” and “Aspen”.