The “Swiss Dream” became reality May 11th when the Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet made its first flight, equipped with a fully integrated avionics system from Honeywell Aerospace.
"It's another major milestone in the Pilatus and Swiss aviation history,” said Oscar J. Schwenk, Pilatus Chairman, according to a Pilatus news release. "Seeing our new business jet take off on its maiden flight is something we've worked very hard for and dreamt about for a long time. Today, at last, that 'Swiss Dream' became a reality!”
The PC-24 prototype took off from Buochs Airport in Switzerland on a 55-minute flight that went exactly as planned, according to test pilot Paul Mulcahy, who was quoted in the release as saying that the aircraft handled beautifully.
Mulcahy piloted the new jet using the Pilatus Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE), developed especially for the PC-24 by Honeywell Aerospace. Based on the proven Primus Apex integrated avionics system, the Pilatus ACE offers PC-24 pilots capabilities comparable to those normally found in much larger aircraft and provides them with the tools they need to enhance safety and efficiency.
Honeywell’s avionics system is a key enabler of the PC-24’s enhanced performance. The Primus Apex-based ACE system includes Honeywell’s SmartView Synthetic Vision System (SVS), Traffic Collision Avoidance System II (TCAS) and Wide Area Augmentation System-Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (WAAS-LPV), which provide flight crew members with exceptional awareness of traffic and other conditions all around the aircraft. Information is displayed on four 12-inch display screens that enable easier viewing of critical information.
A total of three PC-24 prototypes will be built and used to complete a rigorous test program of some 2,300 hours over the next two years. Certification and initial deliveries of the first aircraft to come off the production line are planned from 2017.