The third and final Pilatus PC-24 prototype, P03, which also represents the series aircraft standard, completed its first flight March 6 from Buochs airfield in Switzerland. The jet, registration HB-VSA, flew for two hours and five minutes within central Switzerland. This flight marks another important milestone in the Pilatus PC-24 development program.
The aircraft, designated as P03, joins the first two test aircraft, which began flying May 2015 and November 2015 respectively. The first two prototypes have flown 1,350 hours to date, including numerous significant test flights. P03, which represents a conforming aircraft, will be used for certification flights and marketing.
According to Oscar J. Schwenk, chairman of the board of directors, the PC-24 test program is proceeding according to plan. “The data we have so far indicate that our Swiss business jet exceeds published performance figures. I am confident that certification will be achieved in the fourth quarter, and am naturally looking forward with immense anticipation to the moment when our first customers take delivery of their PC-24,” he said.
Initial deliveries of the 84 pre-ordered aircraft will commence after certification is obtained by year-end. Outfitted with an executive interior, P03 will be available for viewing at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, 22 to May 24, 2017.
The PC-24 is the first business jet worldwide to be equipped with a cargo door as standard, and can take off and landing on short and unimproved runways. The jet is available in color themes created in partnership with Designworks, a BMW Group company.