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Pilatus PC-12

Turboprop-powered Passenger / Light Utility Aircraft

The Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12 has proven popular with global operators and some 1,500 have been produced since introduction occurred in 1994.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 10/25/2019
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Year: 1994
Status: Active, In-Service
Manufacturer(s): Pilatus Aircraft - Switzerland
Production: 1,500
Capabilities: Airborne Early Warning (AEW); Transport; Commercial Market; VIP Transport; 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)
Weight (Empty): 6,614 lb (3,000 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 10,461 lb (4,745 kg)
Power: 1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67P turboprop engine developing 1,200 horsepower and driving a five-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Speed: 329 mph (530 kph; 286 kts)
Ceiling: 30,003 feet (9,145 m; 5.68 miles)
Range: 2,125 miles (3,420 km; 1,847 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 585 ft/min (178 m/min)
Operators: Afghanistan; Argentina; Australia; Bhutan; Brazil; Bulgaria; Canada; Finland; Ireland (ordered); New Zealand; Russia; South Africa; Switzerland; United States; Tanzania
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.

Program Updates

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

October 2019 - Pilatus has revealed its modernized PC-12 NGX model powered by the PW PT6E-67XP turboprop engine. The design also incorporates larger windows as well as an all-new interior finish.



Cockpit Picture

Variants / Models

• 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-12 NGX - Model of 2019; PW PT6E-67XP turboprop engine; enlarged windows for improved viewing; revised interior finish.
• PC-12M "Spectre" - Special missions military variant.
• U-28A - United States Air Force designation of the PC-12.
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