Pilatus obtained rough field certification for its PC-24 ‘Super Versatile Jet’ to perform take-offs and landings on grass, wet soil and snow. The world-renowned Swiss plane manufacturer claims that this makes the PC-24 the “world’s most flexible business jet ever”.
Certification for operations on dry sand and gravel was achieved already in 2018. A comprehensive post-certification test campaign was conducted throughout 2019 to certify the Super Versatile Jet for operations on unpaved runways under varying conditions. From now on, all PC-24s are allowed to be operated on wet and snow-covered unpaved runways.
Twice as many airports
Pilatus developed the PC-24 for use on rough fields from the very beginning. Its remarkable performance on short and unpaved runways gives customers a very high degree of flexibility and new possibilities. The company states that, compared to other business jets currently on the market, the PC-24 would provide access to almost twice as many airports worldwide. This could help them to reach their destinations faster, with valuable time-savings.
‟I’m delighted to note the successful completion of these comprehensive tests. Our PC-24 has proven that it is capable of flying the full range of missions for which it was developed. The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia and operators in North America or Africa already use rough field runways on a regular basis, proving just how unique the PC-24 is – that sort of capability is only available with the Pilatus Super Versatile Jet!”
Oscar J. Schwenk, Pilatus Chairman
Tests across the world
EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, requires tests for the certification of take-off and landing capability to be carried out on different runways. After careful evaluation of local conditions, tests were made at locations across America and Europe.
The runway in Goodwood, England was selected for the tests on dry grass. Further tests on grass runways were carried out at Kunovice in the Czech Republic, at Poitiers in France and at Duxford, England. At Woodbridge, England, complex conditions were reproduced to meet all test specifications for take-offs and landings on wet dirt surfaces. To perform tests on snow-covered gravel runways, the PC-24 flew all the way to Kuujjuaq in Canada.
Promotional Video from Pilatus
Photo Credit: Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.