Welcome to our latest installment of “Aircraft of the Month”!
This October, we will be reviewing a one special aircraft: The Pilatus PC-24! According to Pilatus, the PC-24 is the only aircraft with the cabin size of a midsize jet, the versatility of a turboprop at a price range of a light jet!
The Pilatus PC-24, proudly made in Switzerland by Pilatus Aircraft, is the world’s very first and only “Super Versatile Jet”! The Pilatus PC-24 was introduced back in May 2013. It rolled out in August 2014 and passed its maiden flight in May 2015. It earned EASA and FAA type certification in December 2017. The very first custom Pilatus PC-24 was delivered two months later in February 2018. As previously mentioned in past articles, the Pilatus PC-24 compares to Embraer’s Phenom 300, Textron’s Cessna Citation CJ3+ and Bombardier’s Learjet 70. The PC-24 currently carries a price tag of USD 10.7 million.
Externally, the Pilatus PC-24 is 16.85 m long and 5.4 m high. It has a wingspan of 17 m, and a wing area of 30.91 m2.
The Pilatus PC-24’s cabin is longer, wider and taller than most aircrafts in its category (7.01 m long, 1.69 m high, with a standup height of 1.55 m). It easily accommodates two pilots and a maximum of eight passengers. The spacious cabin features extra-large windows and a continuous flat floor, creating passenger-friendly environment with ample headroom.
The interior of the PC-24 is created with high quality materials, with optimum functionality and comfort in mind. The passenger seats feature quick change capability, allowing easy addition or removal. To increase baggage space to a maximum of 2.5 m3, the aft partition can be placed in aft position. The forward area of the cabin features a highly discreet externally serviceable lavatory. The cabin is also equipped with advanced connectivity.
Notably, the cabin is pressurized to the equivalent of 2’438 m, as most commercial airlines. It has a passenger door on the front left side, and two over-wing emergency exits. It is also the first business jet to be fitted with a standard pallet-sized cargo door, allowing easy and quick loading.
The maximum certified cruising altitude of the Pilatus PC-24 is 13’716 m. Its maximum cruising speed is 815 km/hr. The maximum range of the PC-24 is 1’182 nm, equivalent to 2’189 km.
In recognition of its “outstanding” performance on short and unpaved runways, the Pilatus PC-24 is the only aircraft to boast the unique title: “Super Versatile Jet”. It has relatively easy access to most airports worldwide, and the ability to operate in “remote” locations. Being “super versatile”, the PC-24 is not your usual business jet. It is popular in many other roles like cargo, medical evacuation, and governmental special-mission applications.
The short take-off (take off balanced field length 893 m only) and short landing distance (landing distance over 15 m obstacle is around 724 m only) allow it to perform excellently on both paved and unimproved surfaces, like grass or gravel.
Moreover, the aircraft’s unique design features allow it to operate impressively from short and rough airstrips. The advanced wing design, with large double-slotted flap system, boosts its performance with a stall speed of merely 82 KIAS at maximum landing weight (7’665 kg). The wing flaps are equipped with a replaceable abradable surface with shields to protect the two high-mounted Williams FJ44-4A turbofan engines (each producing 15 kN of thrust) from loose debris. To prevent sinking in soft surfaces, the dual-wheel main wheels exert 4.8 bars of pressure. The long-stroke trailing link landing gear work on smoothing out uneven surfaces.
To offer more operational flexibility and higher fuel efficiency, the PC-24 features a unique Quiet Power Mode, providing quiet and economical energy to power electrical systems like heating and air-conditioning, independent of any source of ground power.
The Pilatus PC-24 is a single-pilot certified jet equipped with an advanced cockpit environment, with four twelve inch screens and an Inertial Reference System (IRS).
As standard equipment, the advanced cockpit environment features a Synthetic Vision System (SVS), Auto-throttle, Graphical Flight Planning, Traffic Collision Avoidance System II (TCAS II), and Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) capability.
That’s all for now, peeps …
Stay tuned for next month’s installment of Aircraft of the Month!