Taking composites to new levels

Having a weight of mere 5 tons, the new business jet Pilatus PC-24 which is manufactured by the Pilatus Aircraft is light enough for taking off and landing on short and grassy runways. Its low weight is because it uses components that are made of carbon and glass fiber. In order to process these materials, Pilatus depends on the state-of-the-art cutting technology of Zünd.

Landing on short and unpaved grass as well as gravel runways was reserved before for the turboprop airplanes, but now,  these kinds of terrains are no longer off limits to the new aircraft PC-24. It has the ability to take off after just 890 meters and for landing, it needs only 720 meters.

Patrick Rohrer, Project Manager of System Procurement at Pilatus, knows what it is essential for successfully building airplanes. He said that the Commitment to the production location as well as the Swissness which went along with it were one thing; but nearly as significant was the state-of-the-art production cells that were equipped with the cutting-edge technology. The key to this was the permanent reduction of costs, optimization of productivity, and the ability of implementing modern technologies of production.

Things were not the same back in the year 1959. That is when the PC-6 Porter had taken off for the very first time at the Stans Airfield located near Lucerne, Switzerland. It was a strong and all-metal universal aircraft that most people would refer to as a Jeep having wings, a plane that had the versatility of a Swiss Army Knife. The PC-6 were assembled by hand that demand an experienced workforce along with tolerances that were far greater than what they are today.