Pilatus PC-24 takes first flight
The Pilatus PC-24 has flown for the first time.
The aircraft’s maiden journey took off from Pilatus’s Buochs Airport homebase at 10:00 local Swiss time for a 55 minute flight across Switzerland. The flight was watched by 1,800 Pilatus employees.
“It’s an emotional moment for sure, and another major milestone in the Pilatus and Swiss aviation history”, said Chairman of the Board of Directors for Pilatus Oscar J. Schwenk, “See our new business jet take off on its maiden flight is something we’ve worked very hard for, and dreamt about for a long time. Today, at last, that ‘Swiss Dream’ became a reality!”
The flight, with Test pilot Paul Mulcahy at the controls, had a 600 meter take off run, and climbed directly to 10,000 feet on departure. Pilatus recorded the time from departure to initial altitude as taking three minutes.
“Everything looks great so far! Beautiful handling – the PC-24 flies just as expected – a real Pilatus aircraft!” said the second test pilot on the flight Reto Aeschlimann.
Pilatus say there will be three aircraft in the test program that will fly an estimated 2,300 hours over the course of the two year certification program.
Certification and first deliveries are scheduled for 2017.