Pilatus has flown the second prototype of its PC-24 twin-engine jet, the company announced Monday at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas. The aircraft, designated P02, took off from Buochs Airport in Switzerland on Monday morning and flew for 82 minutes. The P02 jet will complete initial test flights in Switzerland, then will be deployed mainly in the U.S. and Canada, where it will be used for systems tests and certification flights. Its flight regime will also include cold-weather trials and icing tests. The first prototype, P01, has been flying since May, and has logged about 143 hours in the air. A full-size mock-up of the jet is on display all this week at the NBAA show.
“The PC-24 test-flight program is well underway and we are pleased with initial results,” said Oscar Schwenk, chairman of the Pilatus board of directors. “The PC-24 flies entirely as expected and we are confident of our ability to achieve, or even exceed, the guaranteed performance.” Schwenk said the aircraft has helped the team to identify some “teething problems,” but added that is the purpose of a prototype, “to pinpoint areas requiring early attention in order to remedy them as soon as possible.” The PC-24 is designed to operate from very short runways and rough strips, and will include a cargo door as standard. Certification and first deliveries are expected in late 2017. The company has sold out the first three years of production for the jet.