Successful maiden flight for third PC-24 prototype

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The third and final Pilatus PC-24 prototype, P03, which also represents the series aircraft standard, took off from Buochs airfield on Monday morning (6th March) to complete its maiden flight.

The eye-catching blue Super Versatile Jet, registration HB-VSA, flew across Central Switzerland for 2 hours and 5 minutes, marking another important milestone in the Pilatus PC-24 development programme.

The first two prototypes have flown a total of 1350 hours to date, including numerous significant test flights. Certification flights will be flown with the series-conform P03.

The eye-catching P03 sports a blue livery with special pigments designed to produce a superb shimmering pearlescent effect. The P03 will be kitted out with a "Zermatt" executive interior following Monday's maiden flight.

Certification of the PC-24 is expected in the 4th quarter of 2017 and initial deliveries of the 84 pre-ordered aircraft will go ahead immediately after certification is obtained.

Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of Pilatus' Board of Directors, commented: "I'm delighted to have seen the P03 in the air today! The PC-24 test flight programme is proceeding as planned and the results are very encouraging. The data we have so far indicate that our Swiss business jet exceeds published performance figures. I am confident that certification will be achieved in the 4th quarter, and am naturally looking forward with immense anticipation to the moment when our first customers take delivery of their PC-24"

The PC-24 is the first business jet worldwide to be equipped with a cargo door as standard, and is capable of taking off and landing on very short runways and unmade strips. The jet also boasts an extremely spacious cabin designed for easy adaptation to personal requirements. Six stylish colour themes have been created in partnership with Designworks, a BMW Group company, and are named after well known ski resorts such as St. Moritz, Zermatt and Aspen.

The P03 will be presented to the general public for the first time at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, 22 to 24 May 2017.

BlueSky Business Aviation News | 9th March 2017 | Issue #407

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