Pilatus Unveils the PC-24

By By Fred George fred.george@aviationweek.com
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation

Preliminary Performance Projections

The PC-24 is designed to climb directly to FL450 in 30 min., Schwenk asserts, and it will have a maximum cruise speed of 425 kt. true at FL300. Maximum payload is 2,500 lb. and the aircraft will have a tanks-full payload of 915 lb., enabling it to fly four passengers 1,950 nm at long-range cruise. Schwenk declined to provide estimated cruise performance at FL 450, but it's likely that it will be close to 400-410 kt. true while having fuel flows slightly greater than Citation CJ4 based upon the two aircraft having virtually the same engines, along with similar maximum range. The PC-24 is to have 125-lb. greater fuel capacity than the CJ4.

Williams International will supply the propulsion system, including the two FJ44-4A turbofans, rated at 3,400 lb. thrust for takeoff. APR will boost thrust to 3,600 lb. with a flat rating of ISA+11C. Williams also is engineering a new noise attenuating inlet for the nacelle along with a passive thrust vectoring system that will use Coanda effect to deflect thrust 2-3 deg. upward at takeoff for better aircraft pitch control response. And it is developing a proprietary low idle speed mode that will enable the right engine to serve as a low noise APU.

Pilatus's ACE flight deck, short for Advanced Cockpit Environment, will feature Honeywell's second-generation APEX avionics suite, including four 12-in., landscape configuration displays in a T configuration, a Laseref IRS, an AHRS, EGPWS and TCAS II, plus autothrottles, LPV approach and graphical flight planning. RNP 0.3 navigation, and Honeywell's SmartView synthetic vision will be optional.

Parts for the aircraft are now being fabricated in Stans. Roll-out is slated for mid-2014 and first flight should occur in late 2014. Three aircraft will be used in a 2,500-hr. development program, which is intended to result in FAA and EASA certification in early 2017, followed thereafter by entry into service.

Schwenk says that several potential customers wanted to put down deposits on the aircraft, but he's holding off until roll-out of the first prototype in mid-2014. He says he's leery of over promising and under delivering on performance. By the time roll-out occurs, he'll have hard numbers from his engineers. Then, he'll start making guarantees and taking non-refundable deposits.

“Pilatus always has been a trend setter,” says Schwenk, promising his company's newest aircraft will “be in a class of its own.”

Pilatus launched the versatile PC-12 into what then seemed a dubious market, but has now delivered in excess of 1,100 of the single-engine turboprop model. Now the PC-24 potentially could become one of the most innovative light jets yet to enter its similarly ill-defined market segment. Watch for updates in upcoming issues of BCA.

Pilatus PC-24 Preliminary SpecificationsEquipped Price
Equipped Price$8,900,000
(2017 U.S. dollars)
Wing Loading53.1
Power Loading2.6
Dimensions (ft./m) External
Width (Maximum)5.6/1.7
Width (Floor)3.9/1.2
Weights (lb./kg)
Max Ramp17,750/8,051
Max Takeoff17,650/8,006
Max Landing16,250/7,371
Zero Fuel13,450/6,101c
Max Payload2,500/1,134
Useful Load6,800/3,084
Executive Payload1,200/544
Max Fuel5,953/2,700
Payload With Max Fuel847/384
Fuel With Max Payload4,300/1,950
Fuel With Executive Payload5,600/2,540
Engines2 Williams Intl. FJ44-4A
Normal Takeoff Thrust (lb.)3,400*
TBO (hr.)5,000
Time to FL 370NA
FAR Part 25 OEI rate (fpm)NA/NA
FAR Part 25 OEI gradient (ft./nm)NA/NA
Ceilings (ft./m)
All-Engine Service45,000/13,716
Engine-Out Service26,000/7,925
*3,600-lb. thrust APR rating

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