Pilatus rolled out the first example of its new PC-24 business jet on August 1, just over a year after launching the new model in May 2013. The aircraft is expected to make its first flight by year-end en route to European and U.S. certification in early 2017.
As Pilatus prepares to roll out the first prototype of its new PC-24 twinjet tomorrow at its factory in Stans, Switzerland–while also celebrating the company’s 75th anniversary on Swiss National Day and the 20th anniversary of the PC-12’s entry-into-service–it confirmed to AIN during a factory tour that it has stopped taking PC-24 orders for now, having announced 84 at EBACE in May.
The FAA recently issued an STC for the Astronics Max-Viz 1500 enhanced vision system (EVS) on Pilatus PC-12s equipped with video-capable multifunction displays. The STC kit includes the Max-Viz 1500 sensor, power supply and unpainted fairing; the STC data package costs $80,000 plus labor. Installation is said to take between 16 and 30 hours, depending on the airplane. According to the company, operators of legacy PC-12s also get a monitor as part of the STC kit at no additional cost. The price does not include any hardware or software upgrades needed to display video on existing avionics.
As scheduled, Pilatus Aircraft opened the orderbook for the PC-24 twinjet yesterday at EBACE 2014 and all day long at the Pilatus booth chairman Oscar Schwenk and CEO Markus Bucher signed contracts with avid buyers. The first contract was inked by Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, with an order for four PC-24s. U.S. fractional-share PC-12 operator PlaneSense placed an order for six PC-24s, and other buyers included Falcon Aviation Services of the UAE, with two; Luxembourg-based Jetfly, four; U-Haul International in the U.S., two; and many others.
Today marks the official launch of aircraft purchase agreements for the Pilatus PC-24 twinjet, which was unveiled at EBACE 2013 on May 21 last year. The company is officially signing agreements with launch customers here at its EBACE display, where visitors can get a taste of the PC-24’s interior in the full-scale mockup of the new jet. The $8.9 million (2017 economic terms) PC-24 will offer a new category to the business aviation market, according to Pilatus, which labels the PC-24 as a “super versatile jet.”
Pilatus Aircraft Industry China, a joint venture between Pilatus and Beijing Tian Xing Jian Yu Science, opened on Monday in Chongqing. According to the joint-venture agreement, the $400 million project includes the “establishment of a company engaged in production, general assembly and maintenance of general aviation aircraft, and the relocation of PC-12 production lines for the Asia-Pacific region and PC-6 production lines from Switzerland to Chongqing.” The Chinese venture will not produce components for Pilatus military training aircraft, namely the PC-21, PC-9M and PC-7 Mk II.
On May 21, surrounded by crowds of eager attendees at EBACE (European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition), Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk called for the unveiling of Pilatus Aircraft’s long-awaited new twinjet project, the PC-24. When the black curtain dropped amid clouds of dry-ice-induced smoke to the theme song from the Superman movie, the fuselage mockup of the PC-24 was revealed.
It takes 70,251 rivets and 5,000 man-hours to fabricate a Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop, and when each PC-12 rolls into the final assembly process in Halle 9 at Pilatus’s Stans, Switzerland factory, the precise time and date when the airplane will be finished is noted on a label attached to the fuselage. This is no rough estimate, and Pilatus (Chalet A122) means exactly what the label says, according to Pilatus sales and marketing executive Fred Muggli.
The global fleet of nearly 1,200 Pilatus PC-12s reached a major milestone this month by accumulating four million flight hours since the first copy of the turboprop single was delivered in October 1994. According to Stans, Switzerland-based Pilatus, the highest time PC-12 has logged more than 24,000 hours in operation as an air ambulance with Air Bravo in Ontario, Canada.
Accompanied by stage smoke and theme music from the Superman movie, Pilatus Aircraft unveiled its long-awaited new twinjet project, the PC-24, today at EBACE. “The PC-24 is unique. It’s the only aircraft combining the versatility of a turboprop with the cabin size of a midsize jet and the field performance of a light jet,” said company chairman Oscar Schwenk.
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