This is the SUV of business jets

Land just about anywhere in the world’s first Super Versatile Jet.

By Russell Williamson 01/05/2017

A business jet that’s fast, luxurious and can operate equally from the city or an outback station, remote coastal airstrip, or in and out of New Zealand for a weekend’s skiing? Pilatus may just have the answer with its all-new PC-24.

Dubbed the world’s first Super Versatile Jet (SVJ), it’s the SUV of business jets with a passenger capacity of up to 10, a versatile and flexible cabin and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to land and take off on short paved, dirt or grass runways of as little as 820 metres in length.

According to Pilatus (pilatus-aircraft.com), that short-field capability opens up access for the twin-engined jet to more than 1700 airstrips in the Oceania region, compared with the 625 available to current similar-sized business jets.

With the third PC-24 prototype due to undergo final testing at the end of March, the plane is due to be certified later this year. First international deliveries of the US$8.9 million jet will begin in early 2018. Australian customers secured 10 orders from the first three years of production (84 planes), which sold out in just two days. Six of the Australia-bound PC-24s are destined for service with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the remainder with private clients. Order books for production post-2020 are due to open next year.

Like all Pilatus planes, the PC-24 is being certified for single-pilot operation with state-of-the-art avionics technology. The spacious cabin offers up to 10 passenger seats that can be quickly and easily reconfigured or removed, fine leather upholstery and timber cabinetry, and an external cargo door designed to take a standard pallet.

Powered by a pair of Williams jet engines, the PC-24 can cruise at a maximum altitude of 45,000ft (13,716m) with a maximum cruise speed of 787km/h. With four passengers on board, it has a range of 3610 kilometres – enough to get from Sydney to Broome, to view the stunning Kimberleys and shop for some of Paspaley’s finest.

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