Pilatus delivers first production PC-24 to PlaneSense
The first production Pilatus PC-24 twin jet has been handed over to US customer PlaneSense. The aircraft is the first of six PC-24s which PlaneSense has on order with Pilatus.
Since 1996, PlaneSense has successfully specialised in offering fractional-ownership transportation services with the single engine turboprop PC-12. PlaneSense, currently operating 36 PC-12s, will continue to acquire and operate the popular single, and will use the PC-24 to expand its product offering to new and existing customers.
George Antoniadis, PlaneSense founder, president and CEO, said: “We are honoured to be the launch customer for the PC-24, and are excited to add this versatile and unique jet to the PlaneSense fleet. We have greatly admired the quality and state-of-the-art design of Pilatus aircraft, and are proud to have partnered with Pilatus for the last 22 years. This is an exciting day for us, as well as for our clients who are eager to start flying in this fantastic aircraft.”
Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus, personally handed over the keys to the first PC-24, serial number 101.
Mr Bucher said: “We’ve been eagerly working toward this moment since the conception of this innovative new jet a decade ago. On behalf of the 2,000 Pilatus employees who successfully designed, built and certified the best business aircraft in our 80-year company history, we are proud to have our long-time customer and partner PlaneSense take delivery of the very first PC-24.”
In addition to the larger cabin and faster speed, PlaneSense will take advantage of the PC-24’s unique cargo door, short field performance and ability to land on grass runways which gives it access to locations where traditional business jets are unable to go.
Mr Antoniadis added: “Our share owners have enjoyed the ability to travel in and out of smaller airports with the PC-12. The PC-24 is the only jet that will be able to access many of these same airports, which saves clients a significant amount of time over commercial travel and provides tremendous versatility to the PlaneSense program.”
PlaneSense pilots were among the first class to earn type ratings in the PC-24 at FlightSafety International’s Dallas Learning Centre, where the first full-motion, Level-D, PC-24 simulator is based. FlightSafety is also the official provider of PC-24 maintenance training, and is already conducting courses with PlaneSense and Authorised Pilatus Service Centre personnel as part of an integrated and comprehensive entry-into-service programme.
When the first production PC-24 jet arrives at PlaneSense, it will complete FAA requirements and then begin a short tour of the U.S. and international locations to highlight its unique capabilities for current and potential future fractional aircraft share owners.
Mr Antoniadis concluded: “The PC-24 will demonstrate its versatile short-field capability at high-altitude airports, such as Telluride in Texas. There will be times when the PC-24 is the only jet that can operate out of some runways.”