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Pilatus PC-12

Switzerland (1994)
Picture of Pilatus PC-12 Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft
Picture of Pilatus PC-12 Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft Picture of Pilatus PC-12 Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft
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The Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12 has proven popular with global operators and some 1,500 have been produced since introduction occurred in 1994.

Detailing the development and operational history of the Pilatus PC-12 Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 5/16/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©

Swiss-based Pilatus Aircraft Limited is a long-time player in the world of aerospace, having set up shop as far back as 1939. Fast-forward to 1994, the concern introduced a new single-engine passenger-and-cargo-minded utility aircraft in the Pilatus PC-12. A first-flight of a prototype form was recorded on May 31st, 1991 and the design went into production that same year. Before the end of 2017, total production of the series reached 1,500 units with many committed to the civilian market - though some have been outfitted by military services to undertake special missions roles.

The United States Air Force currently (2018) makes use of the PC-12 series as the "U-28A".

PC-12 Variants
Variants in the family line include the original PC-12/41 with its PWC PT6A-67B engine. These were followed by the PC-12/45 of 1996 which increased MTOW from 9,040lb to 9,920lb. In 2005, the company was granted certification for the next iteration of the series, the PC-12/47. Design changes led to another increase in MTOW to 10,450lb. The PC-12M "Spectre" became a special missions aircraft used by military services.

Pilatus PC-12NG
The PC-12/47E then followed in 2008 and this model shifted to the PWC PT6A-67P turboprop engine. The mark is also known as the PC-12NG ("Next Generation"). This model sports seating for two crew and up to nine passengers depending on the internal make-up of the cabin. Overall length is 47.2 feet with a wingspan of 53.3 feet and a height of 14 feet. MTOW is 10,450lb. The avionics fit it the Honeywell Primus Apex series suite.

PC-12 Walk-Around
The PC-12 operates with a single turboprop engine installed at the nose - the globally popular 1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67. This is used to drive a five-bladed Hartzell composite propeller. The aircraft can cruise at speeds nearing 330 miles per hour with a range out to 1,845 nautical miles and a service ceiling of 30,000 feet. Rate-of-climb is 1,920 feet-per-minute.

The basic arrangement of the aircraft is traditional. It has straight, low-mounted monoplane wing assemblies fitted ahead of midships and a single vertical tail fin. The tail fin supports a high-mounted horizontal plane. The undercarriage is of the typical tricycle arrangement. The cockpit is situated just aft of the engine compartment at the nose, offering good views for the two crew. An entry-exit door for passengers and crew is fitted to the portside near the cockpit. A cargo door is found along the same side of the fuselage just aft of the mainplanes.

With millions of flight hours recorded by the series, the PC-12 has enjoyed a stellar market run with the 1,000th airframe announced as delivered in June of 2010. It continues to see global sales.

January 2018 - The Irish Air Corps have ordered three PC-12NG model aircraft.

Picture of the Pilatus PC-12 Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft
Picture of the Pilatus PC-12 Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft

Any available statistics for the Pilatus PC-12 Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).

Cockpit picture from the Pilatus PC-12 Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft
Pilatus PC-12 Cockpit Picture

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (329mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
Graph showcases the Pilatus PC-12NG (Next Generation)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

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Pilatus PC-12NG (Next Generation) Specifications
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Year: 1994
Status: Active, In-Service
Type: Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Pilatus Aircraft - Switzerland
Production: 1,500
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 1
Length: 47.24 ft (14.4 m)
Width: 53.41 ft (16.28 m)
Height: 13.94 ft (4.25 m)
Empty Weight: 6,614 lb (3,000 kg)
MTOW: 10,461 lb (4,745 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67P turboprop engine developing 1,200 horsepower and driving a five-bladed propeller unit at the nose.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 329 mph (530 kph; 286 kts)
Maximum Range: 2,125 mi (3,420 km; 1,847 nm)
Service Ceiling: 30,003 ft (9,145 m; 5.68 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 585 ft/min (178 m/min)


Operators List
Afghanistan; Argentina; Australia; Bhutan; Brazil; Bulgaria; Canada; Finland; Ireland (ordered); New Zealand; Russia; South Africa; Switzerland; United States; Tanzania

Series Model Variants
• PC-12 - Base Series Designation
• PC-12/41 - Initial production model of 1994.
• PC-12/45 - Model of 1996; increased MTOW.
• PC-12/47 - Model of 2005; increased MTOW.
• PC-12/47E - Model of 2008; PWC PT6A-67P engine.
• PC-12NG "Next Generation") - Alternative designator for the PC-12/47E.
• PC-12M "Spectre" - Special missions military variant.
• U-28A - United States Air Force designation of the PC-12.

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