The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop passenger and cargo aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The target market for the aircraft is corporate transport and regional airliner operators.
Pilatus announced the conception of the PC-12 at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual convention in October 1989. The maiden flight of the first of two prototypes to happened on May 31, 1991. Certification of the type was originally targeted for mid-1991 but a redesign of the wings (increased wing span and winglet addition to ensure performance guarantees were met) delayed the process. Swiss certification finally took place on March 30, 1994, and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval followed on July 15, 1994.
Like other Pilatus aircraft, the PC-12 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine (the PT6A-67B). It is certified for single-pilot IFR operations, though operators can opt to employ a second flight crew member. Pilatus offers the PC-12 in a standard nine-seat airliner layout, in a four-passenger seat/freight Combo version, and as a six-seat corporate transport with an option for a seven-seat by adding a three-seat bench in place of seats five and six. A freighter model is now under consideration.
The PC-12M (Multipurpose) is modeled after the PC-12, but fitted with a more powerful electrical generation system that allows for the inclusion of additional power-consuming equipment. This gives the PC-12M the capability to perform missions such as aerial surveillance, parachutist dropping, aerial photography flight inspection, and air ambulance. This version is marketed in the United States as the PC-12 Spectre paramilitary special missions platform.
The U-28A is the United States Air Force version of the PC-12 for intra-theater support of special operations forces. The 319th Special Operations Squadron is stationed at Hurlburt Field, Florida at the headquarters of the Air Force Special Operations Command. The 34th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) was activated on 9 April 2010 as the second U-28A unit at Hurlburt. The U-28A / Pilatus PC-12 is also operated by the 318th Special Operations Squadron as part of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.
At the 2006 NBAA meeting in Orlando, Florida, Pilatus announced the PC-12NG (Next Generation), and officially launched it during the NBAA 2007 in Atlanta. The NG features a more powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6-67P engine with better climb performance and an improved maximum cruise speed to 280kts TAS. The NG also features a Honeywell APEX glass cockpit. The revised cockpit includes automatic pressurization control as well as cursor controlled inputs to the navigation system. The PC-12 NG winglets have also been modified from the original version.
From the Pilatus website:
The Pilatus PC-12 NG has gained a reputation for outstanding versatility, performance, reliability and operational flexibility. As such, it is one of the most popular turbine-powered business aircraft on the market today. In operation around the globe, the PC-12 NG has found popularity in a number of rolesâ€“ executive transport, cargo, air ambulance, airline, and government special mission applications.
Whether it is the large cabin, single pilot operations, long range, low operating costs, high speed, short-field capability, or precision Swiss engineering and construction, customers find the perfect balance of features to serve their needs in the PC-12 NG.
A Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67P engine, flat-rated at 1,200 SHP
A 330 cubic foot pressurized passenger cabin with seating for up to 9 passengers
A maximum range of 1,560 nautical miles with 3 passengers, high speed cruise, NBAA IFR fuel reserve
280 knot (322 mph) maximum cruise speed
A high-lift wing for exceptional short-field performance
Standard forward passenger door and large (53 in X 52 in) aft cargo door
Retractable trailing-link landing gear capable of grass and unimproved field operation
Certification for flight into known icing conditions
State-of-the-art Honeywell Primus Apex avionics
|Passengers||9 standard, 6-8 executive|
|Max Range||2,889 km||1,560NM|
|Powerplants||One Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67B (1200 shp) turboprop driving four blade, constant speed, fully reversing Hartzell propeller.|
Dimensions (Internal) Cabin
|Max Ramp Weight||4,760kgs.||10,495 lbs.|
|Max Takeoff Weight||4,740kgs.||10,450 lbs.|
|Max Zero Fuel Weight||4,100kgs.||9,039 lbs.|
|Max Landing Weight||4,500kgs.||9,921 lbs.|
|Basic Operating Weight||3,076kgs.||6,782 lbs.|
|Payload with full fuel (and 200 lb/91 kg pilot)||458kgs.||1,009lbs.|
|Max Operating Altitude||9,144m||30,000ft.|
|Take Off Distance over 50 ft obstacle||808m||2,650ft.|
|Landing Distance over 50 ft obstacle||558m||1,830ft.|