The brand new Pilatus PC-24 performed its first flight in the morning of Monday 11 May. The aircraft took off from Stans airfield in Switzerland, home of the Pilatus factory, around 10.00 am local time.After 55 minutes of flying time, the PC-24 arrived safely back in Stans. The flight went exactly as planned with no problems whatsoever, says Pilatus.The first flight comes nine months after the first unveiling of the PC-24, which is the first jet engine powered Pilatus aircraft. At the unveiling, Pilatus already stated that first flight would happen in Spring 2015, and the company has remained true to its word.(...)A total of three prototypes will be produced for the PC-24 test flight program. Pilatus has sold at least 84 PC-24s already. Final certification and start of deliveries to customers are planned from 2017. The Swiss government has expressed the intention to buy a PC-24 for federal use.
Pilatus has brought both its PC-12 turboprop single business/utility aircraft and PC-21 trainer to the Paris Air Show, but the prototype of the company’s latest product, the PC-24 business jet, is not here because it is now fully engaged in its flight-test campaign, which began last month.Prototype P01 undertook its maiden flight from Buochs in Switzerland on May 11, taking off for a 55-minute flight, during which the landing gear was left extended. Pilot in command Paul Mulcahy and test pilot Reto Aeschlimann reported “beautifulhandling.” Registered HB-VXA, the prototype had flown six times as of this week, and had chalked up 14 hours in the air as part of what is planned as a 2,300-hour trials campaign.Pilatus initiated the PC-24 program in 2007. “After eight years wait it was very exciting to see it fly,” Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk told AIN. The company is building two further prototypes to complete the test and certification process. While P01 is undertaking initial envelope expansion tests, P02 is being prepared for a first flight around the end of October. This machine is expected to spend much of the campaign with Honeywell in the U.S., trialling the avionics and autopilotsystems.[continua]
Just seven months after it received a contract to produce 49 of the type, Pilatus has performed the first engine run of a PC-21 for the Australian Defence Force.Pictured at the Swiss manufacturer’s Stans production site on 18 July, aircraft A54-001 will be delivered as part of an A$1.2 billion ($900 million) deal awarded to the Lockheed Martin-led “Team 21” consortium in December 2015.(...)
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd is delighted to announce the signing of three PC-21 fleet orders by end of December 2016, for a total of 21 PC-21s, of which 17 are for the French Air Force and two each for the Royal Jordanian Air Force and QinetiQ, a British company which operates the "Empire Test Pilots' School". Together, these orders are worth over 300 million Swiss francs and will help to ensure jobs at Stans. French Air ForceThe French Air Force (Armée de l'air française), one of the world's most prestigious air forces, has opted for the 21st century training system: the 17 PC-21s will be used to train future military pilots who will transfer to the Alpha Jet prior to their conversion on to the Dassault Rafale, a multi-purpose 5th generation fighter aircraft. The contract signed on the 30th December 2016 by the French Air Force is with Babcock Mission Critical Services France (BMCSF), with Pilatus as a sub-contractor, in which role our PC-21 and other ground-based training material will contribute to completion of the overall contract. In addition to the Swiss Air Force, France is now the second European nation to opt for the PC-21 as part of the world's most advanced, most efficient integrated training system. QinetiQ UK Under the contract concluded with QinetiQ, a British company, Pilatus will provide two PC-21s to the "Empire Test Pilots' School (ETPS)" based in Wiltshire, in the south of England. Operated by QinetiQ, ETPS functions as a training centre for flight test engineers and test pilots, and enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide. The PC-21s with their modified flight instruments will be used to train test pilots and flight test engineers for customers from the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Royal Jordanian Air ForceThe Royal Jordanian Air Force, having placed an initial order for the PC-9 M in August 2015, re-evaluated their requirement in early 2016 due to previously unforeseen issues with their Lead in Fighter Trainer (LIFT) platform. The procurement decision was revised following a modification of the training concept, introducing the PC-21 all-through training model – currently the most advanced training system available anywhere on the market. The contract amendment was initially for eight aircraft but with an option for additional units, if required. The option was now executed for two more PC-21s’, with a total of ten PC-21s’ now providing the backbone of the nation's future pilot training regime. The first deliveries will be undertaken mid-2017. Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pilatus, comments on the contracts as follows: "I am delighted we have finally won another European air force for our PC-21. An exceptionally rigorous selection process based on the strictest of criteria provides further proof that the PC-21 is the first choice worldwide for training military pilots. I am proud that our best-selling PC-21 is now destined to fly for ‘la Grande Nation’. France is already the 8th air force to choose the PC-21: these orders included, we will soon have a total of 209 PC-21s flying successfully from bases around the world. I'm confident that other European air forces will follow France's example!" Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus, adds: "Pilatus is pleased to be part of the programme of modernisation at QinetiQ Test Aircrew Training. Our PC-21 will provide a training platform for the next generation of test pilots worldwide. That a global leader in the test flight sector decides to replace ageing Hawks and Alpha Jets with the PC-21 is a tribute to our product's performance and flexibility." Pilatus feels obligated, and will endeavour, to provide our PC-21 customers with the Swiss quality and outstanding customer service which they deserve, delivering them with the world's most up-to-date pilot training system – the Pilatus PC-21.