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In a ceremony held on Feb. 8, 2018, at Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd in Broomfield, Colo., the first production PC-24 twin jet was handed over to U.S. customer PlaneSense.
The aircraft is the first of six PC-24s which PlaneSense has on order with Pilatus.
Since 1996, PlaneSense has successfully specialized in offering fractional ownership transportation service 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 their product offering to new and existing customers.
George Antoniadis, PlaneSense founder, president and CEO, said at the ceremony:
“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.”
On hand for the delivery was Pilatus CEO Markus Bucher, who personally handed over the keys to the first PC-24, serial number 101.
“We’ve been eagerly working toward this moment since the conception of this innovative new jet a decade ago,” said Bucher. “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.
Antoniadis continued: “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.”
With the larger and faster PC-24, PlaneSense provides an additional option for clients seeking greater speeds, seating for more passengers, and the ability to access islands such as Bermuda.
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 Authorized Pilatus Service Center personnel as part of an integrated and comprehensive entry into service program.
When the first in the world production PC-24 jet arrives at PlaneSense, it will complete Federal Aviation Administration 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.
“The PC-24 will demonstrate its versatile short field capability at high altitude airports, such as Telluride in Texas,” said Antoniadis. “There will be times when the PC-24 is the only jet that can operate out of some runways.”