Pilatus Business Aircraft is displaying a mock-up of its twinjet PC-24, announced earlier this year at EBACE, here at its NBAA booth (No. C12216) near the indoor static display. A prototype is currently under construction and is expected to fly late next year and certification and first customer deliveries are anticipated in 2017. Three aircraft will be used in the flight test program.
The PC-24 combines light-jet operating economics with super-midsize jet capabilities and comfort and is aimed at more conventional offerings from Cessna and Embraer. Like the company’s PC-12 single-engine turboprop, the PC-24 retains an aft cargo door, which on the jet measures 4.1 feet wide and 4.25 feet tall.
The PC-24 has the capability to operate from unpaved and unimproved fields–as short as 2,690 feet at an mtow of 17,650 pounds. Pilatus aims to have the 10-passenger, $8.9 million all-metal aircraft approved for single-pilot operations.
PC-24 power comes from a pair of Williams International FJ44-4A turbofans rated at 3,435 pounds of thrust each. The engines have some special features, including automatic thrust reserve, passive thrust-vectoring nozzles, quiet power mode in place of an APU to provide ground power, integral pre-cooler to condition bleed air and reduce drag losses and an anti-ice and noise-suppressing inlet. They have a 5,000-hour TBO and a hot section time of 2,500 hours. The engines help propel the PC-24 to FL450 in less than 30 minutes and achieve a high-speed cruise speed of 425 ktas at FL300. Range with four passengers is 1,950 nm, and at mtow the maximum payload is 2,500 pounds.
Up front, the customized avionics suite dubbed “Pace” (Pilatus Advanced Cockpit Environment) is based on the Honeywell Primus Apex system. In back, the passenger cabin provides more overall space than either the Cessna XLS+ or the Embraer Phenom 300 and has a flat floor. The aircraft will come with seven different interior options for layouts that include executive, commuter, combi and quick-change configurations as well as options for an externally serviced lavatory, either forward or aft, and galleys.