In a significant landmark for the project, Swiss manufacturer Pilatus confirmed that it mated the wings to the fuselage of the first production PC-24 twin on 12 July. The flagship aircraft is due to receive certification during Q4 of this year. The first production aircraft is due to be delivered to US fractional specialist operator PlaneSense, which has a sizeable fleet of PC-12 turboprop singles. The new Williams International FJ44-4A-QPM turbofan, which is to power the PC-24, has also now received FAA and EASA certification. Among the features of the new engine is a ‘quiet power mode’ that removes the need for a traditional APU.
On 13 July the first Embraer Legacy 500 to be assembled at the Brazilian manufacturer’s assembly plant in Melbourne, Florida, took to the skies for the first time. The company’s US plant also provides final assembly for Legacy 500, Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 models. It is understood that Embraer intends to shift most of the manufacturing process for the Legacy 450 and 500 from Brazil to the US in due course.
In a major milestone, Bombardier has confirmed that the flight test pre-certification programme for the Global 7000 has reached the 500 hours mark. The first aircraft entered the programme in November 2016 and the design is now on track for certification during the second half of 2018.
In a month of landmarks, Gulfstream Aerospace also recorded the delivery of the symbolic 550th Gulfstream G550. The flagship twin entered service in 2003.
US manufacturer One Aviation has confirmed that its new very light twin provisionally known as ‘Project Canada’ will now be known as the Eclipse 700. The aircraft will be a development of the current Eclipse 500 and 550 and features improved avionics, new powerplant and greater wingspan.
The Daher TBM 910 made its US public debut at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh at the end of July. The new turboprop succeeds the TBM 900 version with the incorporation of a next-generation Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite, along cabin interior and safety enhancements.