One of the world’s most versatile private jets has landed at Cork Airport for a series of “private demonstration appointments”.
The Pilatus PC-24 demonstrator jet, made by Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus, jetted in from Stans in Switzerland earlier to be showcased by its Irish distributor, Oriens Aviation, to prospective clients over the coming days.
They will need deep pockets — each new jet costs a cool €7m or €8m and you’ll need at least another €1m a year to cover operational costs.
The PC-24, which can carry up to 10 passengers on comfy seats designed in collaboration with the BWM Designworks, cruising at speeds of up to 815kms an hour with a maximum range of 3,700kms, has been built to take off from paved and unpaved runways as short as 2,930 feet, or 893m. It only needs 724m to land.
This ability to operate from short runways means the aircraft can operate from almost 20,000 additional airports worldwide — almost twice as many airports compared to other business jets.
This versatility meant that Pilatus had to invent a new category for the aircraft type — they call it the ‘super versatile jet’.
Pilatus also boasts that the aircraft is the first business jet with a standard full-sized cargo door — which is handy for storing your bulky luggage, skis, golf clubs, or depending on the cabin configuration, even two motorbikes.
Its plush interior can be delivered in one of six colours - each one named after a well-known ski resort, like St Moritz, Zermatt or Aspen. The various colours were inspired by the shades of nature found at each location.
The aircraft features touchscreen controls and screens on its state-of-the-art flight deck and has been certified for single-pilot operation.
Since its first PC-24 customer handover in 2018, Pilatus has delivered more than 100 of these aircraft to customers around the world, for use by private, corporate and charter customers involved in executive transport, special missions and medevac operations.
The government took delivery last September of three Pilatus PC-12 NG Spectre single-engine turboprop aircraft for the Defence Forces, representing an investment of some €43m, which brought its fleet of such aircraft to four.
They are operated by 104 Squadron, as part of No 1 Operations Wing, and they have been used across Europe and North Africa providing support to the HSE, particularly in the last year, but also to the gardaí and the wider Defence Forces.
The Air Corps operates eight Pilatus PC-9M single-engine prop aircraft as their main pilot training aircraft. It also operates a Learjet 45 — the government jet — which entered service in 2004.