The PC-24 is one of the crown jewels of the fleet of private jets produced by Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. of Switzerland. The PC-24 piggybacked off the successful design of the PC-12 turboprop, coming up with a similar “off-road” aircraft capable of flying into rugged airfields, but with extended range and speed.
In the end reckoning, the PC-24 is one of the most versatile light aircraft operating today. In 2017, the year when the PC-24 received its EASA and FAA type certification, Aero International dubbed it as a veritable Swiss Army Knife. In 2020, it was voted by Jetnet survey respondents to be the most likely buy among prospective buyers of private jets.
It was an apt description of the capabilities of the Pilatus PC-24.
On paper, the PC-24 competes with light business jets such as the Embraer Phenom 300 and the Cessna Citation CJ4. In practical terms, however, it has no real competition due to its unique design.
While the PC-24 is similar to mid-sized private jets in terms of cabin size and luxurious fittings, it delivers the performance of a light jet powered by twin Williams FJ44 turbofans. Where it is truly unique, though, is in being as versatile as a turboprop, which is where trying to fit the PC-24 into any existing business jet category becomes impossible.
For this reason, Pilatus markets the PC-24 as the world’s first Super Versatile Jet (SVJ), a new category designation which has gained the attention of owners and operators of this aircraft.
As mentioned above, one of the best features of this aircraft is its “off-road” capability, where it can compete with the PC-12 and other turboprops with its short-field capabilities, even on unpaved runways.
As reported on Pilatus’ website, there are 10,650 airports in the world with paved runways that are 3,130 feet (954 meters) long. There are an additional 880, also paved, runways that are 2,390 feet (893 meters) long. The PC-24 is able to access all of these 11,530 locations.
Where it excels above other light jets, though, is in its ability to operate in the almost 20,000 airstrips with unpaved runways that are at least 2,930 feet long. These grass or gravel strips cannot be accessed without the PC-24s turboprop-like capabilities.
All in all, then, the PC-24 is a luxurious light jet that can carry a passenger load similar to a midsize jet and can access over 20,000 – perhaps as many as 30,000 – airports around the world! The benefits skyrocket in terms of sheer accessibility, as well as the convenience of flying in as close as possible to your destination, minimizing travel time and avoiding lengthy administrative procedures.
The combined impact on the schedule and comfort of a busy business traveler is tremendous.
Besides being able to travel to remote airports in the far corners of the world, the PC-24 provides many other attractive features, as outlined below.
The PC-24 can carry up to 11 passengers and one pilot. It has a payload capacity of 2,500 lbs. Beyond that, there are additional features that differentiate this model.
Unlike many other business jets, the interior of a PC-24 can be easily, and quickly, reconfigured. The partition to the aft section can be removed as required for every flight, providing the option to either have a larger baggage compartment or enlarge the passenger cabin. Each individual seat also has an inbuilt quick-change capability so it can be added or removed in minutes.
The floor of the PC-24 is continuously even, creating an exceptional amount of headroom for passengers and crew.
Because of the configuration flexibility and cabin space, the PC-24 has also become a popular medevac airplane.
There is a large number of mixes and matches available to customize the interior settings of a PC-24 to suit the taste of its owner/operator.
The interior settings are plush and sleek, fitted with soft leather seats and rare hardwood cabinets. BMW Designworks has created six color lines that can be used to finish the interior> Each color pattern is named after prime European ski resorts such as Zermatt, Aspen and St. Moritz, with designs inspired by the natural hues at each spot.
The PC-24 has a maximum cruising altitude of 45,000 feet and a maximum cruising speed of 440 KTA (knots true airspeed). It has the range of a midsize jet at 2000 nautical miles, which translates into a flying time of 4-6 hours.
The twin-engine powered aircraft’s max take-off thrust is at 2 x 3,420 lbf. The stall speed is 82 KIAS (Knots-Indicated Air Speed).
While two pilots can be accommodated, the PC-24 is a single-pilot certified aircraft, a key feature of all Pilatus manufactured aircraft.
State-of-the-art avionics will make the pilot’s job a lot easier. The PC-24’s Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) system takes user-friendliness to a new height.
Some of the Pilatus ACE™ system’s specific features are:
Besides all of the features described above, which make operating the PC-24 safe to operate and fly, an added safety feature is the aircraft is designed to approach at an incredibly slow speed. It also employs a very sophisticated braking/lift dump system which reduces the required landing distance to a minimum while also maintaining complete safety.
One of the best features of this aircraft goes beyond combining superior functionality, access and performance with lush interiors.
It is very affordable compared to its competitors in the medium-light jet class – costing significantly less than many other private jets with similar cabin capacity.
In 2020, the PC-24 was named as the most popular light jet among prospective buyers based on a Jetnet survey – with 9.7% of survey respondents choosing it ahead of the Gulf Stream’s G700 and the Pilatus PC-12, none of which were in its class. The closest in-class competitor, the Embraer Phenom 300, came in fourth with 5.8% of the votes.
In December of 2018, Flying Magazine stated: “We fly Pilatus PC-24 – it's almost too good to be true!” We agree wholeheartedly when comparing this SVJ to its possible competitors.