×
Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Pilatus U-28


Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Aircraft


Switzerland | 2006



"The U-28A is an ISR-centric U.S. special forces reworking of the civilian-minded Pilatus PC-12 turboprop-powered utility aircraft."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/14/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
In the mid-2000s, during the height of American involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters of war, United States Special Operations COMmand - US SOCOM - required a budget-friendly (commercially-available) light utility aircraft capable of fulfilling very-mission-specific parameters for its special forces missions. The result was the reimagining of the Swiss-originated Pilatus PC-12 passenger/cargo aircraft to become the "U-28". Since their inception, the fleet has been used for a myriad of special-minded tasks including mission support through (manned) tactical Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Search and Rescue (SAR), and humanitarian operations support.

The PC-12 series has seen formal operations since introduction in 1994 and over 1,700 have been built to date - marking it a successful aircraft design for Swiss-based Pilatus Aircraft.

All of the form and function of the original civilian market PC-12 is retained in the U-28 including its single engine layout, crew/passenger cabin, low-mounted wing mainplanes, and single-rudder "T-style" tail unit. A retractable tricycle wheeled undercarriage allows for ground-running. Beyond inherent reliability and excellent performance from its nose-mounted turboprop, the U-28 also showcases short-field / rough-field capabilities.

Where differences end between the U-28 and its civilian market counterpart is in the installed equipment: the platform bristles with tactical communications sets, Electro-Optical (EO) sensors, protected data-links (DoD and NATO types support), real-time full-motion video processing, and survivability systems. These systems result in special protrusions emanating from the fuselage and wing members and not seen in the commercial model.

The U-28's crew consists of four personnel made up of two pilots, a Combat Systems Officer (CSO), and Tactical Systems Officer (TSO). The crew is seated side-by-side in a 2x2 arrangement in the cabin. The instrument panel includes an all-modern glass cockpit.

Power is served from a single Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67B turboprop engine installed at the nose and used to drive a four-bladed propeller unit in conventional "tractor" fashion. This provides the aircraft with a maximum speed of around 220 knots, a range out to 1,500 nautical miles, and a service ceiling up to 30,000 feet. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) reaches 11,000 lb.

The United States Air Force has operated as many as twenty-eight U-28A models with 14 currently (2020) noted as in-service with the branch. The 34th, 318th, and 319th Special Operations Squadrons are listed as key operators of the type while the 5th and 19th Special Operations Squadrons are charged with the types training.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

May 2020 - U.S. SOCOM is intending to replace its in-service fleet of U-28 aircraft with the winner of the USAF's "Armed Overwatch" program.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Pilatus U-28 Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Aircraft.
1 x Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67B turboprop engine developing 1,200 horsepower driving a four-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Propulsion
253 mph
407 kph | 220 kts
Max Speed
30,003 ft
9,145 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
1,740 miles
2,800 km | 1,512 nm
Operational Range
2,000 ft/min
610 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Pilatus U-28 Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Aircraft.
4
(MANNED)
Crew
47.2 ft
14.40 m
O/A Length
53.3 ft
(16.25 m)
O/A Width
13.9 ft
(4.25 m)
O/A Height
11,023 lb
(5,000 kg)
Empty Weight
11,023 lb
(5,000 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Pilatus U-28 Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Aircraft .
None. Mission equipment consists solely of sensors and systems related to the airborne ISR role.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Pilatus U-28 family line.
U-28 - Base Series Designation.
U-28A - Primary operational service model.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Pilatus U-28. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 28 Units

Contractor(s): Pilatus Aircraft - Switzerland
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (253mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
28
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Pilatus U-28
Image from the United States DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING
ELECTRONIC WARFARE
RECONNAISSANCE
SPECIAL FORCES
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Pilatus U-28 Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) Aircraft appears in the following collections:
HOME
AVIATION INDEX
AIRCRAFT BY COUNTRY
AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE AIRCRAFT
AIRCRAFT BY CONFLICT
AIRCRAFT BY TYPE
AIRCRAFT BY DECADE
MODERN AIRCRAFT
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)