The brand new Pilatus PC-24 performed its first flight in the morning of Monday 11 May. The aircraft took off from Stans airfield in Switzerland, home of the Pilatus factory, around 10.00 am local time.
After 55 minutes of flying time, the PC-24 arrived safely back in Stans. The flight went exactly as planned with no problems whatsoever, says Pilatus.
The first flight comes nine months after the first unveiling of the PC-24, which is the first jet engine powered Pilatus aircraft. At the unveiling, Pilatus already stated that first flight would happen in Spring 2015, and the company has remained true to its word.
Throughout the flight the PC-24 was accompanied and monitored by a PC-21. As is normal on maiden flights, the PC-24 landing gear was not retracted on this occasion. 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.
A total of three prototypes will be produced for the PC-24 test flight program. Pilatus has sold at least 84 PC-24s already. Final certification and start of deliveries to customers are planned from 2017. The Swiss government has expressed the intention to buy a PC-24 for federal use.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Over the lakes in Central Switzerland. (Image © Pilatus)