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Pilatus Aircraft first announced its PC-24 in May 2013. The Swiss aircraft manufacturer first flew the type in 2015 before fully introducing it in 2018. This light business jet was originally developed to fill gaps in the market and provide an increased range and speed compared to the company’s existing PC-12 while still retaining the ability to utilize short runways. Pilatus’ PC-24 was eventually certified in 2017 after extensive tests that accumulated over 2,200 flight hours between three prototypes. Overall, the PC-24 can fit up to 10 passengers in a cabin just over five feet tall. The aircraft has a cruise speed of 440 knots (506 miles per hour) and a range of 2,000 nautical miles (2,302 miles).

A KSA Swedish Air Ambulance Pilatus PC-24 on an airport apron.

Photo: Pilatus

Since its introduction in April 2018, Pilatus has produced over 100 examples of the type. These aircraft are spread across private companies and other customers but are also operated by government and military organizations, including the Swiss Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force. One of the unique variants of the aircraft is the PC-24 Air Ambulance. Let’s take a closer look at some of the features of the air ambulance variant of the PC-24.

Air ambulance variant

The PC-24 Air Ambulance allows operators to take advantage of several unique features on the aircraft. The PC-24 offers excellent runway performance and can take off on a 3,000-foot runway. It has also been certified to operate on grass, wet earth, dry sand, gravel, or snow, helping to benefit many remote operators.

Pilatus’ PC-24 Air Ambulance has other features that benefit operators, such as a patient loading door. This allows the operator to load a stretcher onto the aircraft fully horizontally. The PC-24 has an advanced cockpit that a single pilot can fly. Pilatus also manufactures the PC-24 with its Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) to assist the pilot. This includes four 12-inch screens with a synthetic vision system, autothrottle, localizer performance, and more.

The Air Ambulance’s interior variant can be configured in several different ways. These can fit three stretchers and four crew members or two stretchers and six crew members. The variant also includes individual oxygen and air systems for patients. Additional security is added with a second power system and dedicated communication systems. These features allow the aircraft to become a private hospital room while in the air.

Global operators

The Royal Flying Doctor Service in Australia is one of the biggest operators of the PC-24 Air Ambulance. The Royal Flying Doctor Service operates four examples of the type in a 3-stretcher configuration.

A ew South Wales Ambulance Pilatus PC-24 Flying near a coastal area.

Photo: Pilatus

Additionally, per Corporate Jet Investor, the Swedish Air Ambulance Organization (SAAO) operates a small fleet of PC-24 Air Ambulances. The United States North Slope Borough Search and Rescue Department also operates a PC-24 in its fleet.

On February 8, Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Ambulance received its first PC-24 Air Ambulance. The organization will receive a second aircraft at a later date. The NSW Ambulance Commissioner, Dr. Dominic Morgan, spoke about the new aircraft, saying,

“The PC-24 increases the capability of our aeromedical operations and is ideal for the long distances we have to cover in Australia, it will be a great asset to our clinical staff and patients.”

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