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Latest PC-24 offers more range and payload
Wednesday, 10 April 2024
The Payload Range Increase Program focused on increasing the payload capacity and range, while retaining the PC-24's aerodynamic characteristics and flight handling, so that meant no major changes to the external shape.

The newest iteration of the Pilatus PC-24 delivers a payload increase of 272 kilograms (600 pounds). And the maximum range with six passengers on board has also been increased by 370 kilometres to 3,704 kilometres (2,000 nautical miles). With full fuel and single pilot operation, the maximum payload is 596 kilograms (1,315 pounds). On shorter routes, the Super Versatile Jet provides a maximum payload of 1,406 kilograms (3,100 pounds), which is top of the range in its class.

Pilatus engineers carried out an extensive campaign of flight tests to expand the entire envelope for the higher design weights. At sea-level and maximum takeoff weight, the takeoff distance required is just 941 meters (3,090 feet). Tobias Waeber, Project Leader, explains: “We did what the project name says – 'Payload Range Increase Program', or 'PRIP' for short – and focused on increasing the payload capacity and range of the new PC-24. At the same time, we absolutely wanted to retain the PC-24's aerodynamic characteristics and excellent flight handling, so that meant no major changes to the external shape. Instead, we concentrated on weight, aiming to increase maximum takeoff weight whilst also reducing the empty weight. Improvements to the wing and fuselage structure seemed to be the most effective way of increasing the PC-24's payload and range.” With these technical innovations, the engineers took the Super Versatile Jet to a new level. Customers will enjoy significantly more flexibility: “It will now be possible to transport more luggage and passengers on shorter routes. And on longer routes, the crew may be able to avoid a refuelling stop.”

Like every major project, the PC-24 upgrade was confronted with challenges. Tobias Waeber: “We had to rethink and admit to ourselves that a few modifications simply wouldn't be enough to achieve our goals. We struggled to shave off every gram wherever we could. It was only at the end, when we were able to verify the sum of over 700 modifications to the structure alone, that we realized we had actually exceeded our initial targets.”

The engineers also achieved a masterstroke in terms of performance – as revealed by a comparison with competitor aircraft. As Tobias explains, “on short routes, the PC-24 significantly exceeds the maximum payload of its closest competitors by over 15 percent, and maximum range with four passengers is slightly better as well. Astonishingly, the PC-24 achieves this with a significantly larger cabin and smaller fuel tanks. And we remain the only aircraft in this class able to operate at so many airfields.”

Contact details from our directory:
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd Airframer
Related aircraft programs:
Pilatus PC-24