The Pilatus PC-24 is categorized as a Super Versatile Jet (SVJ). Certified for single pilot operations, the aircraft may also be flown with two pilots. Pilatus says: “It’s a plane that simply doesn’t fit into any existing business jet categories. That’s why we had to create a new one: The super versatile jet category.” The PC-24 combines light-jet speed, climb & altitude capability with twin turboprop capacity as well as the ability to land on short and soon to be certified on unpaved fields. The PC-24 was listed at $8.9M in 2017. Pilatus received 84 orders and shut down the order book. There are about 5 in operation today with another 18 are scheduled to deliver for delivery in 2018.
From the outset, the PC-24 light jet was designed, built and tested to withstand extreme temperatures, unpaved fields and weather so it can easily operate in most conditions (heat, water spray and ice tested). When the unpaved or rough landings are approved, the PC-24 will open up access to runways that no other jets could operate to or from. Powered by two Williams FJ44-4A engines, the powerful PC-24 provides 3,400 pounds of thrust.
This aircraft received basic certification on December 7, 2017. The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia will utilize the PC-24 for medevac missions. The aircraft is currently completing post-certification tests emphasizing unpaved runway operations. The “Rough Field” certification is projected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The cabin is the size of a medium-light jet with a cabin size of 501 cu ft, length of 23’ (which is nearly 5 feet longer than the Embraer Phenom 300 or P300), width of 5’7” and height of 5’1” with a flat floor. The Phenom 300 does a dropped isle and is still slightly shorter in cabin height. Pilatus states the aircraft “will carry 6-8 passengers in the executive layout or up to 10 passengers in the commuter layout”. There will be options to change the configuration for medical use because of the enormous cargo door.
The 90 cu ft pressurized (21% larger than the P300) and temperature controlled baggage area provides extra security and is accessible during flight. The compartment will hold up to 13 average pieces of luggage. The cabin includes a fully enclosed, externally serviceable private lavatory.
Maximum range with 4 passengers is just over 2,000 nautical miles still has over 1,200 nm of range at max payload. The max altitude is 45,000 feet to avoid turbulence and weather conditions. Maximum cruise is 436 nm per hour and arrives on a 600 nm trip just 4 minutes behind the P300. The aircraft is designed to land on unpaved runways as short as 2,690 feet (including grass, snow, sand, and gravel which will allow the aircraft land at 21,000 airports around the world.
With Phenom 300 being arguably the best selling (by unit) jet over the last several years, the PC 24 competes very strongly with the P300 in all categories. The P300 has proven in the challenging factional jet industry over many year and continues to deliver.
The PC-24 has the performance and the attributes to be even better than the best selling jet in the category.