We spot the world’s first Pilatus PC-24
We were thrilled to spot the world’s first Pilatus PC-24 at the weekend, parked up at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, home to our US office.
Flight Advisor Denison was quick to snap this special aircraft – the first to enter service just last month – and we shared the spot with our PrivateFly Facebook followers.
The milestone comes two months after Pilatus secured FAA and EASA certification, and follows the Swiss manufacturer’s highly-popular Pilatus PC-12 (a single-engine turboprop, rather than a jet).
Last May, Pilatus brought one of its final stage test PC-24s to industry convention EBACE. And we secured VIP access at the static display to film a video tour.
What makes the Pilatus PC-24 so special?
After the PC-24 was unveiled four years, its first production run of 84 aircraft sold out within hours.
The PC-24’s hangar mate, the Pilatus PC-12 propeller aircraft, has already proved a big success story for the Swiss manufacturer over the past few years. And for the PC-24, Pilatus has taken the same durability and versatility and wrapped it up in a bigger, twin-engined jet.
Key to the appeal of the rugged and reliable PC-12 has been its STOL (short take off and landing) ability. The PC-24 has the same attributes – meaning it can access unpaved and even grass runways – but with the extra speed and wider appeal of a jet aircraft.
Another feature Pilatus have retained from the PC-12 is the large cargo door, by the aircraft’s reinforced left wing. This is a first for a business jet, and a major marketing differentiator, which Pilatus are using to position itself against rival aircraft, most notably the highly-successful Embraer Phenom 300.
The PC-24’s large cabin can be configured as a 6-seat luxury corporate jet, with a very sizeable baggage area and fully-enclosed lavatory. It can also be configured as a 4-seater executive jet, with an expanded cargo area.
And of course, its flexible landing capabilities and cargo door will make it an excellent choice for air ambulance and governmental flights – which require a more open interior.
When will the Pilatus PC-24 be available for charter?
With new single-engine turboprop regulations giving greater commercial advantage to the PC-12, and the PC-24 now entering the market, 2018 is set to be an exciting year for Pilatus.
The first PC-24 is not available for charter but others soon will be – within the first half of this year. Watch this space for further updates!