A day after Pilatus reopened its order book for another tranche of 80 PC-24 jets, the manufacturer had already sold 40 of these available slots. “We already sold half of the 80,” Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk told AIN on Tuesday afternoon at EBACE. The Swiss manufacturer had announced on Monday that it was taking the limited amount of new orders.
Pilatus took orders for 84 of its twinjets at EBACE 2014 before closing the order book, this representing the first two years of production, said Schwenk. He added that the company reopened the order book to sell two more years of production, “and then we will see.”
He admitted that, after producing a planned 40 PC-24s this year, production would increase to 50 next year and could increase further after that. However, Schwenk said the maximum output at its PC-24 production facility at Stans, Switzerland, is 60 aircraft per year. He noted that PC-24 demand far outstrips the company’s ability to produce the aircraft but hinted it would consider other production options, such as a second facility.
Schwenk also spoke of the certification for unprepared landing strips earlier this month, before the first rough-strip landing last week with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, “The comment of the pilot was the plane does all that Pilatus promised it would do—you can do everything with it you can do with the PC-12.” It is currently carrying out PC-24 certification testing for grass strips.
This week at EBACE, the company is showing a PC-24 at the static display (SD202) and has a PC-12 at its booth (L115).