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.
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.
Data 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.
Is it the famous Swiss timing, or is it another marketing ploy? Not even a week after Pilatus announced it delivered the 100th PC-21 and 1,000th trainer aircraft, it now delivered the 1,300th made unit of its single engine turboprop PC-12 to California-based airline Surf Air.
This particular PC-12 is Surf Air’s 4th new PC-12 NG delivery since placing an order last year for 15 PC-12 NG aircraft, with options for an additional 50. Surf Air is the US’s first private air travel club offering unlimited monthly flights. It provides members – frequent regional business and leisure travelers – with a revolutionary, hassle-free flying experience that saves time and money. Operating executive Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, Surf Air flies to and from convenient airports in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles Metro Area, Santa Barbara, Carlsbad/San Diego, Truckee/Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas, with additional destinations to follow.
Whereas last week’s party planes were produced in the Pilatus factory in Stans, Switzerland, this PC-12 originated from the Pilatus Business Aircraft facility in Broomfield, Colorado,
The PC-12 NG is used for executive transport, commuting, medevac, police and border surveillance, cargo transport and military liaison. The PC-12 fleet has amassed nearly 5 million flight hours wordwide. The PC-12 first flew on 31 May 1991 and was certified three years later.
A dozen pilots of the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) successfully completed their flight training on Croatian PC-9M aircraft at Zemunik Airbase in Zadar on 18 December 2014, the Croatian Ministry of Defence confirmed on 19 December 2014.
Zemunik is also known as 93. Air Force Base and Air Defence and the Croatian Air Force Training Centre. There are four flying units based at the location: the Transport Helicopter Squadron with the Mil Mi-8MTV-1, the Firefighting Squadron with the AirTractor AT-802s and Bombardier (Canadair) CL-415s, the Helicopter Training Squadron with the Bell 206B and the Fixed-Wing Aircraft Squadron with the Zlin 242L and the Pilatus PC-9M.
According to visiting Omani officials the training of new pilots might continue at Zemunik, once a new group of aspirant-pilots is formed.
The Omani pilots are likely to continue their training back home at Masirah Airbase. After familiarization on the PC-9Ms of 1 Squadron there, they are likely to move up to the British Aerospace Hawk 103s of 6 Squadron.
Pilatus Aircraft in Stans, Switzerland, had a little celebration going on on Tuesday 16 December, as the company was established in Stans exactly 75 years ago, on 16 December 1939. Providing a perfect picture for this anniversary was a PC-12 NG in a paint scheme designed by renowned and 105 year-old Swiss painter Hans Erni.
The royal blue background of the PC-12 NG is decorated with white horses, doves of peace and a depiction of Pegasus, all drawn by Hans Erni. The animals were chosen to symbolise the PC-12 NG’s credentials as a workhorse whilst also underlining its flight characteristics.
Today, putting the finishing touch to his work, Hans Erni added his signature and the date to the PC-12 NG’s engine cowling at his workshop in Lucerne, thereby ensuring that this particular aircraft, series number 1515, remains absolutely unique.
Hans Erni is a painter, graphic artist and sculptor of international repute. He has created countless lithographs, over 300 posters and several murals for the Swiss Red Cross, the IOC, UNO, UNESCO and the ICAO, as well as numerous public and private businesses. Erni qualified as a private pilot in 1946 and many of his works of art are dedicated to aviation.
Pilatus has sold over 1,300 PC-12s since the aircraft was launched in 1994, making it one of the world’s most successful turboprop aircraft ever. The “Hans Erni PC-12” will be on display at numerous air shows and conventions next year, including EBACE in Geneva, Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, JetExpo in Moscow and the Paris Air Show.