As Pilatus Aircraft prepares the prototype PC-24 twinjet for its official rollout on August 1, the company is displaying a PC-12NG single-engine turboprop painted in Sauber F1 racing team livery at the ABACE 2014 static display. The appearance of the Sauber PC-12 fits neatly with the next big event in Shanghai after ABACE, the Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix, roaring into town on April 20.
Appropriately, the 5.4-kilometer racing track for the Shanghai International Circuit, designed by circuit architects Hermann Tilke and Peter Wahl, mimics the Chinese character “shang.” According to the architects, this “stands for ‘high’ or ‘above.’” The duo plumbed Chinese history to create “the team buildings arranged like pavilions in a lake to resemble the ancient Yuyan-Garden in Shanghai.”
Use of private aircraft in the motor racing world is nothing new, and many participants are long-time aircraft owners and charterers, including Nascar drivers and team owners.
Here at ABACE, Pilatus announced that it appointed new sales and service representatives for the PC-24. The new representatives include Pilatus Centre Canada in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which will provide PC-24 sales and service for all of Canada.
In Warsaw, Poland, J.B. Investments will offer PC-24 sales and service in its home country, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
OK Business Aircraft of Pribam, Czech Republic is the PC-24 sales and service center for the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania.
In North America, Pilatus Center de Mexico, a Monterrey-based PC-12 sales and service center since 2002, was selected to sell and service the PC-24 in Mexico.
Pilatus will build three PC-24s for the flight test program. Certification and entry into service of the twinjet is scheduled for 2017. At next month’s EBACE show in Geneva, Pilatus will begin taking orders for the PC-24.