Aircraft Overview: Pilatus PC-24
The PC-24 is a twin-engine business jet produced by Swiss manufacturer Pilatus. Development of the airframe was announced in 2013, with the PC-24 making its first flight on May 11, 2015—a flight that was performed by an airframe registered as HB-VXA (prototype P01)—and subsequently being certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Dec. 7, 2017.
According to the EASA type certificate data sheet for the PC-24, the maximum passenger seating capacities for the executive and commuter configurations are eight or 10, respectively. However, when operated by a single pilot, an additional passenger can be seated in the right-hand cockpit seat. Those passengers are accommodated in a cabin that has a length of 23 ft., width of 5 ft. 7 in., height of 5 ft. 1 in. and volume of 501 ft.3, with the length and volume both measured between the cabin/cockpit partition and the aft pressure bulkhead. Beyond the above configurations that define the certified passenger capacities, Pilatus also markets seven possible layouts for the PC-24’s cabin, including three executive and two commuter layouts, as well as full cargo and passenger-cargo combi configurations.
The PC-24 is certified for single-pilot operations, with the pilot(s) operating the airplane using Pilatus’ Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) avionics system that is “powered by Honeywell’s Primus Epic 2.0 integrated avionics” and which includes four 12-in. liquid crystal displays.
Other avionics features include an attitude heading reference system (AHRS), autothrottle, dual flight management systems and Mode S transponders—the latter of which are automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) Out capable—inertial reference system, SmartView synthetic vision system and traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS).
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Operators say the twinjet is an ideal step up from the Swiss manufacturer’s popular PC-12 single-engine turboprop. Compared to that sibling, the jet flies 50% faster, 50% higher and offers 50% more cabin volume. It’s positioned as a light jet, but it offers a midsize cabin with a flat floor. Operators say it has no direct competitors.
Operating limitations for the PC-24 include a maximum operating Mach number of 0.74 Mach and a maximum operating altitude of 45,000 ft. The maximum altitude single-engine service ceiling is 30,000 ft., while the maximum cruise speed at flight level (FL) 280 is promoted as being 440 kt. true airspeed (KTAS) and the time to perform a direct climb from sea level to FL450 is 26 min. Takeoff and landing performance figures for the PC-24 include a takeoff balanced field length—assuming a dry paved runway, the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), sea-level altitude and standard conditions—of 2,930 ft.
The PC-24 is powered by two Williams International FJ44-4A-QPM engines that have normal and maximum takeoff thrust limits of 3,420 lb. and 3,600 lb., respectively, as well as a Quiet Power Mode that is able to provide power to certain systems “independent of any source of ground power.”
On Air Charter Guide, February 2021, there are six PC-24 for charter through five different charter operators including a 6-seater from Clay Lacy Aviation.
The PC-24 has proved to be remarkably reliable, considering that it incorporates some of the most advanced design features of any aircraft in its class. It’s the only business jet to feature brushless AC starter/generators, plus electrically actuated multifunction spoilers, distributive data processing and electrical power architectures.