Pilatus PC-12NG, Switzerland
The Pilatus PC-12NG is a next-generation, single-engine passenger and cargo transport aircraft designed and built by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The aircraft can perform a wide range of missions including executive transport, cargo, air ambulance, police, smoke jumping, border surveillance, military liaison, airline and special government missions.
The aircraft was unveiled in Orlando during the 2006 NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) meeting. The PC-12NG was officially launched in 2007 at Atlanta.
An i-Pad delivery programme was announced on 7 March 2011. Under the programme, the company is offering an Apple iPad to new customers purchasing pilatus aircraft from February 2011 onwards.
The iPad will feature a pilot information manual (PIM), delivery documents and a text file that documents information on assembly and manufacture of specific aircraft.
Pilatus PC-12NG orders and deliveries
In July 2010, Pilatus Aircraft delivered its 1,000th PC-12, a PC-12NG, to its new owner in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The Finnish Air Force ordered six Pilatus PC-12NGs in 2009 for €22.5m. The first PC-12NG aircraft was delivered to the Finnish Air Force on 1 July 2010. Deliveries concluded by August 2010. The PC-12NG replaced the Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain aircraft, which has been in operation with the Finnish Air Force since 1983.
On 26 January 2010, Pilatus announced that it had delivered about 100 PC-12NG aircraft in 2009 making it the highest number ever reached. By the end of 2010, 1,039 PC-12s had been delivered to customers across 38 countries.
The U-28A is a single-engine military version of PC-12 aircraft. It is in service with USAF special operation forces. The aircraft can operate from short and unimproved runway surfaces as well as on dirt and glass strips. It is incorporated with state-of-the-art communication and navigation gear, and weather radar. The aircraft was introduced in August 2005. The U-28A can cruise at a maximum speed of 270kt (500km/h) to a maximum range of 1,513nm (2,803km).
The PC-12 NG has a spacious and comfortable 330ft³ pressurised cabin. The cabin is equipped with nine 360° tilt passenger seats, large windows, and a 0.61m×1.35m passenger door. The cabin can be easily adaptable to various applications.
The aircraft also has a large pallet-sized cargo door, 1.35m long and 1.32m wide, on left hand side of the fuselage section for loading and unloading of cargo. Baggage compartment of 1.13m³ volume is used for storing the luggage and accessories of the passengers.
The length and width of the cabin are 5.16m and 1.52m respectively. Its floor width is 1.30m. The volume of the cabin is 9.34m³ and its headroom is 1.47m.
Cockpit and avionics
The PC-12NG has a glass cockpit with two seats for pilot and co-pilot. The cockpit also features a glass canopy for clear visibility. It is equipped with advanced Honeywell Primus Apex avionics systems. The avionics suite installed in the aircraft includes two primary flight displays (PFDs) and two multifunction displays (MFDs), flight and weather data and charts.
The cockpit of the PC-12NG is equipped with an advanced cursor control device (CCD) between the two crew seats. The CCD system is fitted with trackball, a scroll wheel and buttons for choosing two large multifunction displays.
Both PFD and MFD provides clear visibility and displays flight information, engine monitoring, aircraft configuration, pressurisation and environmental controls. The interior of the cockpit is designed by BMW Group Designworks USA with an intention to setup a new standard for ergonomics and aesthetics.
The PC-12NG is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67B turboprop engine and a four-bladed Hartzell HC E4A-3D/E10477K propeller made of aluminium.
The engine can generate 895kW (1,200shp) of output power. The propeller can rotate at a constant speed of 1,700rpm to 2,200rpm. Its diameter is 2.67m.
An epicyclic speed reduction gearbox installed in the engine reduces propeller noise by optimising output speed. The engine is also equipped with multistage axial and single-stage centrifugal compressor, reverse flow combustor and a single-stage compressor turbine.
The length and diameter of the engine are 1.87m and 0.48m respectively.
The PC-12NG can climb at the rate of 585m a minute. The cruise and stall speed of the aircraft are 519km/h and 124km/h respectively. Its maximum range is 2,889km. The service ceiling of the PC-12NG is 9,144m. The take-off and landing distance of the aircraft are 808m and 558m respectively. The aircraft weighs around 2,761kg and its maximum take-off weight is 4,740kg.
The PC-12NG can land in short and unpaved runways.