In 2013 Pilatus Aircraft unveiled their latest aircraft, the PC-24 light medium jet. On the website of Pilatus Aircraft they give several reasons why the PC-24 is better than any other business jet, the first two being

  • No other business jet can operate from runways as short as 2,690 feet (820 m).

  • No other business jet has been designed to operate from paved and even unpaved surfaces.

This sounds pretty impressive to me. But what’s different between a PC-24 and any other light medium jet on the market, which allows such short landing distances and the ability to touch down on unpaved runways?

Press picture from Pilatus Aircraft which shows an illustration of the PC-24 landing on an unpaved runway

Press picture from Pilatus Aircraft which shows the landing on an unpaved runway.

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    $\begingroup$ Related: How are modern jets modified to takeoff/land on a dirt runway? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Oct 25 '16 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ I just want to know the facts about the PC-24, because I'm interested about this type of jet. $\endgroup$
    – Pascal
    Oct 25 '16 at 19:50
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    $\begingroup$ Keep in mind that the PC-24, like the PC-12, is an aircraft designed for multi-mission versatility. Pilatus markets these aircraft to the military, emergency services, taxi, and business market, unlike other jets that are designed mostly for business use. $\endgroup$
    – Cody P
    Oct 26 '16 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ Well, in short, "like no other business jet" is just flat out wrong. There are other business jets (like some of the Dassault Falcon jets) that are indeed certified to fly in and out of unimproved and short runways too. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Oct 26 '16 at 21:03
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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-40 This plane has been operating from paved and unpaved runways for half a century now. She does require 850m of runway, however, so yeah, 820m is a real breaktrough. Until, of course, the two-engine upgrade kit for the Yak-40 becomes available, when it will be able to operate from a 750m runway. Test flights are already well underway. Some marketing people know no shame. $\endgroup$
    – Daniel
    Dec 2 '16 at 16:01

The Wikipedia page on the Pilatus PC-24 gives you some hints:

The PC-24 is a twin-engine business jet, a larger jet-powered follow-on to the earlier Pilatus PC-12. It is considered to be a short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft, being designed to operate from short and rough airstrips. It incorporates an advanced wing design, with a large double-slotted flap system to achieve the necessary performance, having a stall speed of only 81 knots at the maximum landing weight. Pilatus has claimed that the PC-24 possesses performance attributes which are unmatched by any jet aircraft on the market. It possesses a takeoff distance of 820 m (2,690 ft) and a landing distance of 770 m (2,526 ft).


The PC-24 is powered by a pair of Williams FJ44-4A turbofan engines. [...] The engines are mounted on the upper portion of the rear fuselage to prevent foreign object damage (FOD) during operations at rough airstrips. Other FOD-reduction measures include the enlarged flaps and chines on the nose wheel of the landing gear. The exhaust ducts of the engines feature an aerodynamic modification, having been shaped so the outflow contributes to the thrust vector during takeoff, reducing the takeoff roll distance.

So, in summary:

  • Advanced wing design with double-slotted flaps
  • Low stall speed
  • High mounted engines
  • Large flap and main nose wheel chines
  • Reduced take-off roll through vectored thrust
  • (Thanks to Peter Kämpf) Lower Wing Sweep to add effectiveness at low speeds at the expense of cruise speed.

There really isn't a lot that is going different from other business jets other than a shorter take-off/landing roll. The design isn't dramatically different, and it doesn't mention it but it probably has reinforced landing gear.

No production PC-24's have been delivered as of yet, so its hard to tell what they look like. The test PC-24's only have 150 hours behind them so they may not have had any rough-strip experience. It's difficult to say exactly what the modifications are because they may include other things like FOD deflectors on the wheels.

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    $\begingroup$ You may add lower wing sweep. This makes the wing more effective at low speed but limits the maximum cruise Mach number. They claim a cruise speed of 425 kts in FL 300 which is only Mach 0.73 (if I did not screw up the math) which is very low for a jet. $\endgroup$ Oct 26 '16 at 1:09
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf Thanks, added. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 26 '16 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ Update: As of Feb 2020, 70 have been built (according to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilatus_PC-24) $\endgroup$
    – Ryan
    Apr 29 '20 at 23:33

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