Seeking to make the newly certified PC-24 twinjet as well-known at the BACE as its turboprop little brother, Switzerland’s Pilatus has flown a production example to Orlando, where it may be viewed in the static exhibition at the Executive Airport. 

PC-24 made its U.S. debut here at Orlando two years ago, but that showing was by the second of the three prototypes, with an HB- tail number.

Since the award of its type certificate last December, 12 PC-24s have been delivered to the U.S., Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Southern Africa. By the end of this year, the company expects 23 will be in customers’ hands.

Thus far, 1,200 hr. have been flown on these production aircraft. The very obvious fleet leader is N124AF, the first serial PC-24, which has contributed more than 620. It is operated by the U.S. fractional ownership company PlaneSense, whose president and CEO, George Antoniadis, is full of praise.

“Our clients absolutely love the PC-24, and it is a wonderful complement to our expansive fleet of PC-12s,” he declares. “The jet has allowed us to expand our offering with a larger cabin and higher speeds. Its ability to access very short runways allows us to safely reach destinations that other business jets cannot. With that larger choice of runways and higher cruise speed, we can significantly reduce point-to-point travel time, a true game changer.”

And more aerodromes will be added to that list, as Pilatus continues to conduct post-certification testing on several items to expand the PC-24’s operational capabilities, including steep approach, air ambulance interiors, and operation from unpaved runways.

More than 150 sorties have been conducted on dirt, grass and gravel surfaces in Switzerland, Canada, Italy, and the UK. Certification for operation from these surfaces is anticipated before end of this year.

Regarding serviceability, Pilatus reports a high take-up rate for its CrystalCare comprehensive maintenance support program. For a fixed hourly and monthly fee, customers are covered for all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance events, parts, avionics, engines, inspection, troubleshooting and repair work, shipping, AOG recovery and even consumables.

 “Being ranked number one in customer service by PC-12 operators for 17 consecutive years has set the service expectations high for Pilatus entering the business jet market,” says Ignaz Gretener, vice president of general aviation for Pilatus. “Our goal is to continue expanding services by raising the bar even higher in terms of customer support.”