Thursday’s ceremonial hand-off from Pilatus Aircraft to PlaneSense of the first production Pilatus PC-24 jet brings the fractional provider’s fleet to more than 40 aircraft. In addition to the new Swiss light jet, the Portsmouth New Hampshire-based company operates 36 PC-12 turboprop singles and four Nextant 400XTis.
PlaneSense, which has already sold out shares in the first PC-24, expects to receive at least two more of the new twinjets within the next 12 months and two more next year. Its Nextant 400XTis will eventually be phased out as the PlaneSense PC-24 fleet swells.
The first PC-24 arrived at the PlaneSense headquarters with its new FAA registration: N124AF, representing the first PC-24 and following the pattern set when the company received its first PC-12 in 1992: N112AF. The AF designation on all PlaneSense aircraft stands for Alpha Flying—the aircraft management firm owned by PlaneSense founder, president, and CEO George Antoniadis before it morphed into the current company.
In total, PlaneSense has received more than 60 PC-12s as it sold off older aircraft to keep its fleet fresh. As new aircraft receive an AF suffix, aircraft sold are not only re-registered to replace the PlaneSense N-number, but are also refurbished to eliminate all PlaneSense distinctions.
Each PlaneSense PC-12 logs some 1,000 hours annually, according to Antoniadis, who noted that, last year, the fleet covered 9 million miles, logged 36,000 hours, flew to 840 different airports in 47 U.S. states, and carried more than 3,000 passengers.