In Switzerland, the second Pilatus PC-24 prototype P02 took off from Buochs Airport on Monday 16 November for its maiden flight. The aircraft flew across Central Switzerland for a total of 82 minutes. Following on from the maiden flight of the first PC-24 prototype (P01) in May of this year, this first flight by P02 marks another step forward in the Pilatus PC-24 development program, Pilatus reports.
PO2 is the second PC-24 to join the test flight programme comprising a total of around 2,300 hours in the air. After completing initial test flights in Switzerland, P02 will be deployed mainly in the USA and in Canada, where it will undergo various systems tests and certification flights in partnership with the systems suppliers. Special scrutiny will be accorded to the avionics systems and the autopilot, but the programme will also include cold weather trials and icing tests.
Flights with the first prototype, the P01, have gone as planned thus far. The aircraft has completed a total of 143 hours in 87 flights since May. Numerous aerodynamic tests have been carried out in the air, including tests to determine slow-flight handling, centre of gravity and flutter testing, as well as high-altitude flights. An average of 15 points were tested during each flight. This comprehensive programme of airborne tests was supplemented by exhaustive ground testing.
Certification and delivery of the first series production aircraft to customers is planned from the third quarter of 2017. Furthermore, a 1:1 model of the PC-24 will be on display at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in Las Vegas from 17 to 19 November.