First Flight For Pilatus Jet


Pilatus flew its PC-24 twinjetfor the first time, about 10 a.m. Monday morning, from Buochs airport in central Switzerland. The airplane flew for 55 minutes, and the company said “the flight went exactly as planned with no problems whatsoever.” The jet used less than 2,000 feet of runway for takeoff, and climbed to 10,000 feet, where the two-pilot crew completed a series of tests. The PC-24 is the first business jet built in Switzerland. “It’s an emotional moment for sure, and another major milestone in the Pilatus and Swiss aviation history,” said Oscar Schwenk, company chairman.

Throughout the flight the PC-24 was accompanied and monitored by a PC-21. “Twelve flight test engineers watched the flight from the ground as they kept an eye on a stream of real-time flight data received from the PC-24,” according to the Pilatus news release. “Had the need arisen, these experts could have given the pilots crucial decision-making information: another means of ensuring the safest possible conditions for the entire maiden flight.”Pilot in command was Paul Mulcahy, with Reto Aeschlimann in the right seat. The test regime will comprise three prototype jets, which will fly for 2,300 hours over the next two years, the company said. Certification and first deliveries are planned for 2017.

Click here for video of the first flight take-off and return.