Aircraft

Switzerland's first business jet makes maiden flight

Switzerland's first business j...
The Pilatus PC-24 taking off on its maiden flight
The Pilatus PC-24 taking off on its maiden flight
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The Pilatus PC-24 is Switzerland's first business jet
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The Pilatus PC-24 is Switzerland's first business jet
The Pilatus PC-24 with landing gear extended
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The Pilatus PC-24 with landing gear extended
The Pilatus PC-24 on its maiden flight
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The Pilatus PC-24 on its maiden flight
The Pilatus PC-24 taking off on its maiden flight
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The Pilatus PC-24 taking off on its maiden flight
The Pilatus PC-24 navigation lights
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The Pilatus PC-24 navigation lights
The Pilatus PC-24 is twin engine
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The Pilatus PC-24 is twin engine
The Pilatus PC-24 with Pilatus employees
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The Pilatus PC-24 with Pilatus employees
The Pilatus PC-24 on the runway
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The Pilatus PC-24 on the runway
The Pilatus PC-24 taxiiing
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The Pilatus PC-24 taxiiing
The Pilatus PC-24 before takeoff
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The Pilatus PC-24 before takeoff
The Pilatus PC-24 taking off on its maiden flight
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The Pilatus PC-24 taking off on its maiden flight
The Pilatus PC-24's maiden flight is the result of months of testing
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The Pilatus PC-24's maiden flight is the result of months of testing
The Pilatus PC-24 over central Switzerland
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The Pilatus PC-24 over central Switzerland
The Pilatus PC-24's maiden flight was monitored by telemetry
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The Pilatus PC-24's maiden flight was monitored by telemetry
The Pilatus PC-24 is designed for the business customer
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The Pilatus PC-24 is designed for the business customer
The Pilatus PC-24 interior with ambient lighting
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The Pilatus PC-24 interior with ambient lighting
The Pilatus PC-24 with ambient lighting
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The Pilatus PC-24 with ambient lighting
The Pilatus PC-24 in standard lighting
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The Pilatus PC-24 in standard lighting
The Pilatus PC-24 set for meal service
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The Pilatus PC-24 set for meal service
The Pilatus PC-24 in South Africa
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The Pilatus PC-24 in South Africa
The Pilatus PC-24 showing table
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The Pilatus PC-24 showing table
The Pilatus PC-24 has customizable cargo space
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The Pilatus PC-24 has customizable cargo space
The Pilatus PC-24 cockpit
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The Pilatus PC-24 cockpit
The Pilatus PC-24 is designed for single-pilot flight
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The Pilatus PC-24 is designed for single-pilot flight
The Pilatus PC-24 front undercarriage
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The Pilatus PC-24 front undercarriage
The Pilatus PC-24 at its 2013 rollout
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The Pilatus PC-24 at its 2013 rollout
The Pilatus PC-24 interior
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The Pilatus PC-24 interior
The Pilatus PC-24 engine
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The Pilatus PC-24 engine
The Pilatus PC-24 passenger seating
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The Pilatus PC-24 passenger seating
The Pilatus PC-24 alternate ambient lighting
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The Pilatus PC-24 alternate ambient lighting
The Pilatus PC-24 lavatory
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The Pilatus PC-24 lavatory
The Pilatus PC-24 alternate ambient lighting
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The Pilatus PC-24 alternate ambient lighting
The Pilatus PC-24 interior looking forward
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The Pilatus PC-24 interior looking forward
The Pilatus PC-24 service area
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The Pilatus PC-24 service area
The Pilatus PC-24 in Australia
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The Pilatus PC-24 in Australia
The Pilatus PC-24 window
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The Pilatus PC-24 window
The Pilatus PC-24 cockpit controls
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The Pilatus PC-24 cockpit controls
The Pilatus PC-24 has a customizable interior
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The Pilatus PC-24 has a customizable interior
The Pilatus PC-24 seat ten
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The Pilatus PC-24 seat ten
The Pilatus PC-24 cockpit console
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The Pilatus PC-24 cockpit console
The Pilatus PC-24 at its 2013 rollout
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The Pilatus PC-24 at its 2013 rollout
The Pilatus PC-24 is Switzerland's first business jet
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The Pilatus PC-24 is Switzerland's first business jet
The Pilatus PC-24 seating arrangement
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The Pilatus PC-24 seating arrangement
The Pilatus PC-24 is based on a previous turboprop aircraft
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The Pilatus PC-24 is based on a previous turboprop aircraft
The Pilatus PC-24 cockpit detail
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The Pilatus PC-24 cockpit detail

Switzerland has joined an elite club with its first homegrown business jet taking to the air for the first time. With the call sign of HB-VXA, the twin-engine prototype Pilatus Aircraft PC-24 Super Versatile Jet made its maiden flight last week, traveling from Buochs Airport in a 55-minute journey across central Switzerland to Brünig.

According to Pilatus, the May 11 flight by test pilots Paul Mulcahy and Reto Aeschlimann came at the end of months of trials and refinements and went off without incident as the Prototype P01 jet climbed to 10,000 ft (3000 m) in about three minutes. Over the journey, the aircraft was accompanied by a Pilatus PC-21 advanced trainer aircraft, while telemetry was monitored by engineers on the ground.

The US$9 million PC-24 was first unveiled in Geneva on May 21, 2013 and is designed to compete with the Embraer Phenom 300 and Cessna Citation CJ4. Powered by two Williams FJ44-4A turbofan engines, each generating 15 kN (3,400 lbf) of takeoff thrust each, it has a wingspan of 17 m (55 ft) and can carry 10 passengers.

The Pilatus PC-24 in standard lighting
The Pilatus PC-24 in standard lighting

With a design inspired by the popular PC-12 turboprop, it's made to operate from very short and even unmade runways. Pilatus says that it's the first business jet to be equipped with a cargo door as standard, and that the interior is customizable to maximize cargo or passenger space as required. Top speed is 425 kts (489 mph, 787 km/h) and it has a range of 1,949 nmi (2,243 mi, 3,610 km)

The company says that three prototypes have been built for the current 2,300 hour test program. Half of these will be flown in Switzerland and the other half in other environments around the world. Certification and first deliveries are scheduled for 2017 with at least 84 units already pre-sold.

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

Source: Pilatus Aircraft

1 comment
giselher
What is the noise amount at takeoff?