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Pilatus upgrades PC–24 avionics

Photo by Mike Fizer

Starting this year, new PC–24s will come with touch-screen controllers for entering data, calling up radio frequencies, and managing the ship’s weather radar. In addition, the new PC–24’s flight control system has what Pilatus calls Tactile Feedback. Roll and pitch servos will keep bank angles under 51 degrees and limit pitch angles, preventing the airplane from exceeding VMO or MMO. This protection is automatic when the airplane is on autopilot, and exerts its control when flying manually by countering pilot inputs when attitude limits are reached.

In another feature, autothrottles will automatically engage to increase or reduce power should the airplane enter an under- or overspeed condition. Another automatic function is a new yaw trim feature that works when the yaw damper is engaged. It recognizes sideslip excursions and applies rudder force to attempt to hold the airplane to zero sideslip. In engine-out or other thrust asymmetry situations, Pilatus says that yaw trim will apply compensating force.

A new pilot-defined visual approach feature now lets pilots fly coupled visual approaches to any runway, using autopilot and autothrottle inputs. Left-hand, right-hand, or straight-in approaches can be flown right to the runway threshold.

Still other improvements include Honeywell’s SmartRunway and SmartLanding advisories. These have audible callouts for approach runway, runway end, excessive approach angle, and taxiway and landing advisories. There’s also a new VHF datalink capability that allows ACARS graphical weather, SiriusXM basic and advanced graphical weather, takeoff and landing data from the flight management system, controller-pilot datalink communications, a Bluetooth 3D audio panel with record and playback functions, and Honeywell’s RDR-7000 weather radar with predictive hail and lightning capability.

Pilatus also revealed that new PC–24s would have more comfortable, fully reclining executive seats, and the option to replace the forward coat closet with a galley, including microwave oven, a coffee or espresso maker, and capacity for standard catering units. The company also said it had certified True Blue Power lithium-ion batteries for use in the PC–24. They would reduce the empty weight by 84 pounds, with a lower total life-cycle cost compared to the standard dual nickel-cadmium batteries.

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