Images and video of the brand-spanking-new Swiss built Pilatus PC-24 have been spied undergoing testing for the first time at Buochs airport and graciously shared to their Facebook page. This is the company's first attempt at building a jet, riding the coattails of their wildly successful PC-12 single engine turboprop.
Pilatus maintenance and manufacturing facility is based at the airport in Stans, and has been very hushed about the jet's progress. The manufacturer's first jet was introduced in 2013 and debuted for the public in August of last year amid much fanfare during the country's Swiss National Day celebrations. The company has been mostly silent on the aircraft's progress ever since.
The airplane was designed specifically with feedback from its widely popular PC-12 turboprop, praised for its large, useful load capabilities and its skills at operating on very short runways.
The PC-24 is reportedly powered by two FJ 44-4A turbofan engines produced by Williams International and Rolls-Royce for a variety of aircraft in the light business jet market.
This new mid-sized jet is an attempt to create an entirely new category of Super Versatile Jet aircraft by combining the flexible characteristics of a turboprop with the cabin size and performance of a jet. No official information has been released by Pilatus, but it seems progress is on the march and we might see test flights in the very near future.