On August 1st of this year, Pilatus’ clean-sheet jet aircraft, the PC-24, rolled out of the hangar with a procession of twenty-four horses leading the charge. The horse theme was chosen as this aircraft is being marketed as a “workhorse”.
The PC-24 may look like a standard medium-light jet (think smaller Cessna Citations if you are unfamiliar with the term), but that is where the similarities end.
Marketed as a “Super Versatile Jet”, the PC-24 is the only medium-light jet aircraft that can do what small turboprops can; for instance, land on unprepared airfields. It is also the only corporate-class aircraft that comes standard with a cargo door.
This is an aircraft designed for speed and utility that doesn’t really face any external threats to its direct market.
Yes, as a medium-light jet, it faces pressures from the more established players, but the product differentiation makes this aircraft much more attractive to any turbine operators looking to maintain their operational posture, as well as procure aircraft with the capabilities and speeds only a pure-jet aircraft can provide.
The aircraft, one of three test frames, is expected to take flight next spring. Deliveries to customers are expected to commence in 2017, following final certification.