18 MAY 2015
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The first ever Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet made its maiden flight last Monday (11 May) from Buochs Airport on Lake Lucerne. Prototype P01, call sign HB-VXA, flew across central Switzerland for a total of 55 minutes. Pilatus says that the flight went exactly as planned with no problems whatsoever. (See BTN 4 August)
A total of three PC-24 prototypes will be built and used to complete a rigorous test programme of some 2,300 hours over the next two years. Fewer than half those hours will actually be flown in Switzerland, the remainder will be flown elsewhere. Certification and initial deliveries of the first aircraft to come off the production line are planned from 2017.
The PC-24 is the world's first business jet to be equipped with a cargo door as standard, with take-off and landing performance that allows the use of very short and even unmade runways. The jet also boasts a spacious cabin with an interior which can be customised to accommodate individual needs. This is indeed a "Super Versatile Jet" – an aircraft designed for a wide variety of missions in line with specific requirements.
The aircraft is expected to be seen at EBACE Geneva 19-21 May. Alison Chambers & Jane Stanbury are reporting for BTN. www.pilatus-aircraft.com https://ebace.aero
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