PlaneSense celebrates arrival of the first Pilatus PC-24 jetBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent
February 08. 2018 10:07PM
PORTSMOUTH — Pilots Jim Georgelis and Mike Frattellone can’t wait to start bringing customers up into the air on PlaneSense’s new twin-engine personal jet.
The fractional aircraft operator based at Pease International Tradeport celebrated the arrival of the world’s first Pilatus PC-24 jet Thursday.
Georgelis stood near the jet with excitement as he talked about spending the last month in Dallas training to fly it. He has been a pilot for 19 years, and an employee at PlaneSense for 12.
Frattellone has been a pilot for 16 years and a PlaneSense employee for 13. He explained why the pilots are so pumped up about the arrival of the jet.
“It will bring us into airfields no jet has ever been to,” Frattellone said.
The jet’s take-off and landing performance allows it access to smaller airports, meaning fractional owners can get closer to their intended destinations.
The PC-24, with a maximum cruising speed of 440 knots per nautical mile at 30,000 feet, will now serve as the signature aircraft in the PlaneSense jet fleet. The company is expecting a total of six jets by the end of 2019, the largest order received by Pilatus Business Aircraft in its current order book.
The new jet left Switzerland on Jan. 30 and headed to the Pilatus facility in Broomfield, Colo., where it was officially handed over to PlaneSense officials during a ceremony on Wednesday. It flew overnight to make it to Portsmouth for employee and client presentations on Thursday, despite the bad weather.
In a statement, President and CEO George Antoniadis said the PC-24 raises the bar in private jet travel.
“The way the PC-12 revolutionized the turboprop market is exactly the way the PC-24 will impact the light jet space,” Antoniadis said. “Its intelligent use of advanced technology, married to a large, comfortable cabin, versatility and excellent operating efficiency promise that the PC-24 will be a very successful platform for PlaneSense’s growth.”
PlaneSense currently manages the largest civilian fleet of Pilatus PC-12 aircraft in the world with 36 in operation.
The company has 350 employees and has been in business since 1995.