Switzerland’s own Pilatus Aircraft has roared into EBACE with no fewer than five deliveries of its first jet and flagship, the Williams FJ44-powered PC-24, under its belt. Series production work on 84 PC-24s ordered in 2014 is meanwhile in full swing at company headquarters at Stans, south of Lucerne, and 23 deliveries are planned for 2018.

The first PC-24, serial number 101, was delivered to fractional ownership operator PlaneSense in early February and has already logged more than 300 hr., Pilatus says. A PC-24 was delivered to Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, former chairman and CEO of the Swiss-based Nestlé Group, just last week.

“Aviation experts have already told us that the PC-24 is an exceptional aircraft with excellent flight characteristics,” said Pilatus chairman Oscar Schwenk. “We are now receiving initial feedback from our customers, and we are pleased to report it is extremely positive, too.”

“We intend to re-open the PC-24 order book in the near future,” Schwenk said, “as soon as we are absolutely certain that everything is going as expected.”

PC-24 prototypes are undergoing various post-certification tests, the manufacturer says. “The main focus is on steep approaches and landing-takeoff operations on unmade runways,” Pilatus says, noting that the post-certification test program is slated for completion within the year.

“I can guarantee that we will make our ‘darling’ even better yet,” Schwenk said. Pilatus calls the PC-24 an SVJ, for super-versatile jet.

Initial customer PlaneSense has used its PC-24 at various North American airports, Pilatus says, including high-altitude and short-runway facilities. “The PlaneSense experience validates the capability of the PC-24 for tough daily operational use,” Pilatus says.

Separately, Pilatus has announced a PC-24 training initiative with FlightSafety International.

Pilatus says it has planned a total of 23 PC-24 deliveries in 2018. They include an executive version for Jetfly and the Swiss government, and a medevac version for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

Pilatus notes further that the PC-24 is the first business jet to come equipped with a cargo door as standard, with the capability to operate in and out of very short runways – as short as 2,810 ft. – giving access to more than 20,000 airports worldwide.