The second PC-24 prototype (P02) took off from Buochs Airport, Switzerland, on its first flight on November 16, 2015. The ‘Super Versatile Jet’ flew across central Switzerland for 82 minutes. Following on from the flight of the first PC-24 prototype (P01) in May of this year, this first flight by P02 marks another major step forward in the Pilatus PC-24 development program.
The full flight test program is composed of about 2,300 hours of airtime. P01 has achieved about 143 hours over 87 flights since May. Numerous aerodynamic tests have been carried out in the air, including tests to determine slow-flight handling and center of gravity, as well as flutter testing and high-altitude flights. This program of airborne tests was supplemented by exhaustive ground testing.
After initial test flights in Switzerland, P02 will undergo various systems tests and certification flights in partnership with the systems suppliers mainly in the USA and in Canada. Special scrutiny will be accorded to the avionics systems and the autopilot, but the program will also include cold weather trials and icing tests.
Capable of flying in and out of very short runways and unmade strips, the PC-24 is the world’s first-ever business jet to come equipped with a cargo door as standard. Certification and delivery of the first series production aircraft to customers is planned from the third quarter of 2017.
November 20, 2015