Is the new Pilatus PC-24 a light or midsize jet? That’s the question that has been baffling EBACE attendees ever since the twinjet was revealed on Tuesday. On one hand, the aircraft’s 17,650-pound mtow, nearly identical to that of the Embraer Phenom 300, places it firmly in the light-jet category, but its 501-cu-ft cabin volume suggests it is midsize, since it is well above the 325 cu ft in the Phenom. (See more photos.)
In fact, the PC-24’s cabin is larger than the best-selling midsize jet–the Cessna Citation XLS+–in almost every respect. It is wider (67 inches versus 66 inches), longer (23 feet versus 18.5 feet) and more voluminous (501 cu ft versus 461 cu ft). However, the PC-24 does not have as much cabin height: 61 inches versus the XLS+’s 68 inches. The PC-24 has a flat floor, while the Citation has a drop-down floor, so seated passengers in the XLS+ won’t have appreciably more headroom than in the PC-24.
Dubbed “Crystal Class,” the Pilatus jet’s interior, according to the aircraft manufacturer, evokes the qualities of Swiss crystal: beauty, uniqueness and versatility. The six-passenger cabin mockup on display here at EBACE certainly demonstrates the first two qualities, while its versatility comes from no fewer than seven interior options, including three executive versions (six, eight and six-/eight-seat quick change configurations), 10-passenger commuter layout, combi (forward club-seat cluster and aft cargo), cargo and medevac. In the three executive versions, the externally serviced lavatory can be located in either the fore or aft cabin, and there is a galley option as well. No matter which configuration is chosen, operators are sure to appreciate the jet’s large 4.1- by 4.25-foot rear cargo door.
Pilatus has not yet selected a cabin management system (CMS) for the PC-24, saying that technology advances in these electronics are occurring so rapidly that it is still too soon to commit to a CMS for a jet that won’t be certified until 2017. But it has chosen Boulder, Colorado-based Air Comm to provide the PC-24’s environmental cooling and heating system.
In the jet’s front end, the Swiss aircraft manufacturer has selected the Honeywell Primus Apex flight deck, which is branded as the Pilatus Advanced Cockpit Environment. The most basic version includes four 12-inch displays, Honeywell SmartView synthetic vision, Tcas II, inertial reference system, Waas LPV approaches and graphical flight planning on the moving map.
According to Pilatus, the PC-24 mockup here at EBACE will also be appearing at the Paris Air Show next month, as well as at the NBAA Convention in Las Vegas this October.
Pilatus has also selected FlightSafety for PC-24 training.