Tag Archives: Pilatus PC24

Swedish Medevac PC-24 Completes Successful Maiden Flight

The first of six PC-24s for the Swedish Air Ambulance Organisation took off from Buochs Airport for its maiden flight on 22 July 2020. Sporting the national colours of Sweden – blue and yellow – the Super Versatile Jet will cut a dash across Swedish skies.

Less than a year after the agreement between the Kommunalförbundet Svenskt Ambulansflyg (KSA) and Pilatus was signed, the maiden flight of the first Swedish medevac PC-24 marks an important milestone in the programme. Despite the disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic, Pilatus still managed to meet the tight production schedule.

Six medevac PC-24s for KSA

As an air ambulance service organisation, KSA will provide advanced medical assistance and access to fast, professional aeromedical care, to everyone living in Sweden. The full KSA fleet will comprise six PC-24s, with all aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2021.

The maiden flight heralds the start of numerous flight tests to be performed by Pilatus. On completion of these tests, the PC-24s for KSA will be transferred to Aerolite AG, the specialist Swiss company appointed to oversee the installation of the medevac interior.

About the PC-24 air ambulance

The outstanding flexibility of the PC-24 opens up a wealth of possibilities for use as a medevac aircraft. The cabin offers sufficient space for three patients plus medical personnel. The PC-24’s large cargo door also facilities speedy loading and unloading of patients. All these advantages, combined with the PC-24’s STOL credentials, make it the ideal aircraft for all air ambulance missions. After the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia and the US North Slope Borough Search and Rescue Department, KSA is the third organisation to deploy the PC-24 as a medevac aircraft.

Alaska’s North Slope Borough Now Flies a PC-24 Air Ambulance

Operated by the North Slope Borough Search and Rescue Department (SAR) in the northernmost region of the United States, the PC-24 provides basic medical care for 9,800 residents across a territory of 95,000 square miles (246,000 square kilometres). Outfitted with tandem LifePort™ AeroSled™ stretchers and five passenger seats, it is the fourth PC-24 to be delivered in a medevac configuration.

The town of Barrow, Alaska, also known as Utqiagvik, is located at 71 degrees north latitude. The average temperature in mid-January is –14 degrees Fahrenheit (–26 degrees Celsius) and the sun does not rise completely above the horizon until early February. This region, with its exceptionally harsh conditions, will be the new home for the Super Versatile Jet.

Multi-mission capability

The SAR Department is responsible for delivering basic medical care to all North Slope Borough residents. The team performs medevac operations, search and rescue and other emergency missions.

In addition to the PC-24, which replaces an older light jet, SAR currently operates two helicopters and a fixed wing turboprop aircraft. All are capable of day, night, visual or instrument meteorological flight conditions in a medevac context. Many flights are operated from snow and ice packed runways with paved, dirt, and gravel surfaces – conditions for which the PC-24 was specifically designed.

Unique characteristics

April Brooks, Director of North Slope Borough Search and Rescue, explained the reasons which motivated the choice of the PC-24: “The PC-24 is a gamechanger when it comes to fast, efficient transport of critical patients across vast distances in our extremely harsh environment. Its unique cargo door, large cabin and ability to safely operate from short, unpaved runways make it ideally suited to our needs.”

At the handover ceremony held at Pilatus’ US subsidiary, Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd in Broomfield, Colorado, North Slope Borough Mayor Harry K. Brower Jr. said: “We are delighted we can now offer residents a new level of capability to enhance their safety and well-being. In this region, fast, efficient, high quality medical care is absolutely essential, and the PC-24 will enable us to fulfil every aspect of that commitment.”

Thomas Bosshard, CEO of the Pilatus subsidiary, presented the keys to Mayor Brower and commented: “We are proud of the role our PC-24 will play in supporting the residents of North Slope Borough and the SAR team in the execution of their missions. We are very pleased to see such high demand for the PC-24 as a medevac platform, in addition to its popularity as a business jet. This is exactly the type of versatility we envisioned when we began designing the PC-24 – and now it is a reality.”

PC-24 Rough Field Certification Campaign Brought to a Successful Conclusion

Pilatus obtained certification for take-offs and landings on grass, wet earth and snow, making the PC-24 the world’s most flexible business jet ever.

Pilatus has now obtained full rough field certification for the PC-24 Super Versatile Jet. Certification for operations on dry sand and gravel was delivered in 2018.

A comprehensive post-certification test campaign was conducted throughout 2019 to certify the Super Versatile Jet for operation on unpaved runways and in differing conditions. With immediate effect, all PC-24s may now also be operated on wet and snow-covered unpaved runways.

Twice as many airports – just with the PC-24

The PC-24 was developed for use on rough field from the outset. Its outstanding performance on short and unpaved runways opens up an amazing degree of flexibility and new possibilities. Compared to other business jets currently on the market, the PC-24 provides access to almost twice as many airports worldwide. More airports mean more options – taking operators to their destinations faster, with valuable time-savings.

Pilatus Chairman Oscar J. Schwenk adds: ‟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!”

Tests across the world

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 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 excellent 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 in part in order to meet all test specifications for take-offs and landings on wet dirt surfaces. The PC-24 was also flown in North America: tests on snow-covered gravel runways were performed at Kuujjuaq in Canada.

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