The production of the Pilatus PC-12 was announced at the NBAA annual convention in 1989. It is a pressurized, single engine turbine powered turboprop. That is used mostly by corporate transport and regional airliner operators. The PC-12 has been considered one of the best selling aircraft in its class for a number of years. As of October 2019, this aircraft has had approximately 1,700 deliveries worldwide.
The purpose for the development of the aircraft, was Pilatus’ belief that it could serve a new market of single engine aircraft users. Making the PC-12 capable of having a large cabin and the ability to fly long distances at high speeds. (1)
With its first flight taking place in 1991, the PC-12 developed many improvements during it’s initial years of operation. As 2006 approached, Pilatus announced at the NBAA meeting in Orlando their plans for the release of an upgraded NG (next generation). Also, in October 2019. Pilatus announced their plans at the NBAA convention, to release the NGX. Which began deliveries in the second quarter of 2020.
Performance – NG
The Pilatus PC-12 NG is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67P turbofan (1,200 shp), which provides better climb performance than its predecessor. It has a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.43 (285 knots), a stall speed of Mach 0.10 (67 knots). It has a maximum range of 1,845 nautical miles (3,417 km) and maximum cruise altitude of 30,000 ft. The aircraft can also seat between 6 to 9 passengers including pilot and crew in a standard configuration.
The maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) for the NG variant is 10,450 lbs, while it’s maximum landing weight (MLW) is 9,921 lbs. It is also single pilot certified, and certified for flight into known icing conditions. It is also one of the few pressurized turbine powered aircraft that can operate from a rough landing strip / within rugged environments. (2)
In collaboration with BMW Designworks, the cabin interior has been improved on the NG to resemble more of a luxury road vehicle. The cabin measurements are 16 ft 11″ in length, 4 ft 10″ in height and 5 ft in width. The baggage / cargo compartment is located in the aft and has a capacity around 40 ft³. This size and configuration does change depending on the number of passengers on board.
In terms of the cockpit & avionics. The NG uses the Honeywell Primus Apex glass cockpit, which uses four 10-inch high resolution LCD displays. It also includes an Advanced Synthetic Vision System to help improve situational awareness. The avionics system is excellent at reducing pilot / crew workload and improving overall safety. Especially during single pilot operations. (3)
- The NG comes with retractable trailing-link landing gear which helps to make landing a little more smooth on rough surfaces.
- As per the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). The PC 12 was the most delivered turboprop in 2020.
- On February 10th 2022, Garmin announced the availability of expanded engine monitoring capability for select Pilatus PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 aircraft. This includes the addition of the TXi Engine Indication System (EIS). (4)
*These are general specifications of the above mentioned aircraft. Please see each listing for details on their individual specifications, layout and performance.
- Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Swiss Aircraft Manufacturer, retrieved from: https://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/en
- Wikipedia, Pilatus PC-12/NG, retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilatus_PC-12#PC-12NG
- Honeywell Aerospace, Primus Apex for Pilatus PC-12NG, retrieved from: https://aerospace.honeywell.com/us/en/learn/products/cockpit-systems-and-displays/primus-apex-for-pilatus-pc-12ng
- Skies Magazine, Garmin Press Release: Garmin announces availability of TXi EIS for select Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, retrieved from: https://skiesmag.com/press-releases/garmin-announces-availability-of-txi-eis-for-select-pilatus-pc-12-aircraft