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Switzerland Aircraft Manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft PC-24 Makes Maiden Flight

May 11, 2015 - The first ever PC-24 Super Versatile Jet took off on its maiden flight today from Buochs airport, Switzerland. Prototype P01, call sign HB-VXA, flew across central Switzerland for a total of 55 minutes. The flight went exactly as planned with no problems. 

The PC-24, a twin-engine business jet took off from runway 07 in just under 600 m and climbed to 10,000 feet in around three minutes, where the two pilots completed a series of planned tests. The maiden flight followed a route across central Switzerland – from Altdorf to Brünig via Engelberg. 


Test pilot Paul Mulcahy, who has some 11,000 hours under his belt, flew the PC-24 as pilot in command. He has already test flown countless aircraft types and has acquired a wealth of experience on twin-engine business jets. The copilot was Reto Aeschlimann who said "Everything looks great so far! Beautiful handling, the PC-24 flies just as expected, a real Pilatus aircraft!". 

Throughout the flight, the PC-24 was accompanied and monitored by a PC-21, as is normal on maiden flights. The PC-24 landing gear was not retracted on this occasion. Twelve flight test engineers watched the flight from the ground keeping an eye on a stream of real-time flight data received from the PC-24. 

In recent months, the PC-24 handling characteristics had been trialed and refined during numerous tests using simulators and models placed in a wind tunnel. As part of the development team, the two pilots were involved in these tests; their role during the maiden flight was to verify the accuracy of the theoretical assumptions.



Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of the Board of Directors said "It's an emotional moment for sure, and another major milestone in the Pilatus and Swiss aviation history. Seeing 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!“

A total of three PC-24 prototypes will be built and used to complete a rigorous test of some 2,300 hours over the next two years. Fewer than half those hours will actually be flown in Switzerland, the remainder will be flown elsewhere. Certification and initial deliveries of the first aircraft to come off the production line are planned from 2017.

The PC-24 is the world's first business jet to be equipped with a cargo door as standard, with takeoff and landing performance that allows the use of very short and even unmade runways. The jet also boasts a spacious cabin with an interior which can be customized to accommodate individual customer needs. Pilatus sold 84 PC-24's in the space of just 36 hours at last year's European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (EBACE) in May.
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