Tue, Jul 25, 2017

Private Aviation & Premium Travel
First Pilatus PC24 gets ‘married’

Pilatus has revealed that final assembly work on its first PC-24 customer aircraft is proceeding at a swift pace. 

The fuselage and wings of the first series-built PC-24 were joined together at its factory in Stans earlier this month and series production is being accelerated to ensure that prompt deliveries of first customer aircraft can go ahead immediately after certification. 

This operation, referred to as a "marriage", requires the highest degree of concentration from the builders, according to the Swiss aircraft manufacturer. 

The process of attaching the wings to the fuselage demands accuracy to within a hundredth of a millimetre, not to mention that the connection has to be solid enough to last for a "business jet lifetime, it explains. 

This extremely important stage saw technicians join the 16.8 m fuselage to the wings, spanning 17 m.  The "marriage" will be followed by the cabin installation and commissioning and testing of the aircraft systems. 

It was an emotional moment for launch customer George Antoniadis, President and CEO of PlaneSense, who had travelled from the US especially for the marriage. 

“We were excited to witness the fuselage-wing mating of the first production PC-24. We are proud to see the PC-24 sporting the PlaneSense colours, being the culmination of years of preparation,” he said. “Its large cabin and exceptionally versatile performance are features greatly anticipated by our fractional owners. Additionally, its revolutionary design and manufacturing pedigree will set it apart in day to day operations, allowing PlaneSense to further exceed our commitment to operational excellence and superior service.” 

André Zimmermann, VP PC-24 at Pilatus, added: “I am extremely pleased that we successfully completed the fuselage to wing marriage of the first PC-24 for customer delivery. This is another very important and significant milestone in the PC-24's development programme. We are now looking forward with great anticipation and tremendous pride to the very first customer handover later this year when PlaneSense will take delivery of their PC-24 and we witness the entry into service of our super versatile jet.“

The very first PC-24 will go to the American fractional aircraft ownership business immediately after certification, scheduled during the fourth quarter of 2017. 

PlaneSense currently operates 34 PC-12s in the US. It will deploy six PC-24s in the future, using the super versatile jet to expand our offering and strengthen its market presence even further.

The PC-24 is the first business jet worldwide designed to take off and land on very short runways, or unpaved runways, and to come with a cargo door as standard. It also boasts an extremely spacious cabin whose interior can easily be adapted to personal requirements. 

The outstanding flexibility of the PC-24 opens the door on an enviable spectrum of possibilities – whether as a business jet, ambulance aircraft or for other special missions. 

Founded in 1939, Pilatus Aircraft is the only Swiss company to develop, produce and sell aircraft to customers around the world. These include the Pilatus Porter PC-6; the best-selling PC-12, a single-engine turboprop; the PC-21; and its newest aircraft, the PC-24. 

The Pilatus Group includes two independent subsidiaries in Broomfield (US) and Adelaide (Australia).

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