Page 18 - March20T
P. 18

  16 • TWIN & TURBINE / March 2020
Custom Plastics
Many people wondered if Pilatus could deliver a business jet capable of taking off on some of the same unim- proved strips that their PC-12 utilized. My feeling was if any manufacturer could accomplish this ambitious goal, it would be Pilatus. The company has a proven record of producing a wide range of turboprops, both civilian and military. And in 2018, the PC-24 re- ceived certification for dry sand and gravel. That certification recently ex- panded to grass, wet earth and snow- covered unpaved runways.
With an 18,300 maximum take- off weight (MTOW), a wingspan of nearly 56 feet, length of 55 feet and a tail height of over 17 feet, the PC- 24 is impressive on the ramp. In this weight range, the single-pilot certified Pilatus PC-24 joins the Embraer 300E and Cessna Citation CJ4. Overall, the PC-24 is dimensionally larger than both of the others and has an MTOW slightly lower than the 300E and ap- proximately 1,200 pounds higher than the CJ4. With a large cabin of 500 cu- bic feet, it also fills the market niche between the Embraer 300E and the Cessna Citation Latitude.
The mission specifications for the PC-24 are also impressive. The PC-24 has a service ceiling of 45,000 feet and can carry up to eight passengers and two crew at 0.74M. With four passen- gers, the PC-24 has an NBAA range of 2,000 nm. If you load the plane with the maximum payload of 2,500 pounds, you can still fly 1,163 nm between fuel stops.
Cross-Country Flight
Earlier this year, a friend and PC- 24 owner offered me the opportu- nity to fly his airplane on a cross- country trip. We were to depart Centennial Colorado airport (KAPA) early in the morning. It would be two passengers, pilots Gilbert Delaud and Kyle Saboda, and myself. With 4,500 pounds of fuel, the plane was at a ramp weight of 17,414 lbs.
After connecting the two ship batteries, we opened the cabin door, an air-stair design with the optional Entry Lighting Upgrade. Directly in front of the wide cabin door opening is a galley that contains

   16   17   18   19   20