Pilatus Aircraft delivered the first production PC-24 twin jet earlier this month to U.S. fractional ownership service PlaneSense. The aircraft is the first of six PC-24s which PlaneSense has on order with Pilatus.
PlaneSense has successfully specialised in offering fractional ownership transportation service with the single engine turboprop PC-12 since 1996. It currently operates 36 PC-12s and will continue to acquire and operate the popular single. It will use the PC-24 to expand the 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.
“The PC-24 will demonstrate its versatile short field capability at high altitude airports, such as Telluride in Colorado. There will be times when the PC-24 is the only jet that can operate out of some runways.”
On hand for the delivery was Pilatus CEO Markus Bucher, who personally handed over the keys to the first PC-24, serial number 101.
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 to access locations which traditional business jets are unable to use.
As with the PC-12, the PC-24 will serve PlaneSense clients throughout the United States, Canada, Bermuda, The Bahamas, the Caribbean, and beyond.
Pilot Training and Entry into Service
PlaneSense pilots were among the first class to earn type ratings in the PC-24 at FlightSafety International’s Dallas Learning Center, 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.