The PC-24 is making its public debut here at EBACE. The program is on track, with deliveries slated for the second half of 2017, says Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk.

The first aircraft, P01, is appearing at the show before flying to Spain for high-speed testing, while P02 has flown to the U.S. There it will undergo autopilot trials with Honeywell in Phoenix, and cold-soak tests in the chamber at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. It will return to Switzerland toward the end of the year.

A third, production-standard aircraft will make its first flight before the end of this year.

“There have been no surprises in flight tests,” says Schwenk, “just small things.” Speed on the ferry flight to the U.S. was better than expected, with cruise above 800 km/hr (432 kt.). Some 1,600 flight-test hours are planned to achieve EASA certification.

Schwenk noted the all-metal PC-24 presented particular flight-test challenges in that it has a powerful high-lift system that will minimize required runway, but it must also cruise fast at 41,000 ft.

PC-24 Order Book to Reopen in 2017

Amid much fanfare, Pilatus opened and closed the order book for the PC-24 at EBACE 2014, notching up 84 sales, or three years’ production.

“We will open it again at NBAA 2017,” says Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk, “after the aircraft has achieved certification.”