Aircraft Overview: Pilatus PC-12
The PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop airframe produced by Swiss manufacturer Pilatus, with the current version being the PC-12/47E-based PC-12 NGX. Development of the PC-12 began in 1987, with the type’s first flight—performed by a prototype airframe registered as HB-FOA—taking place on May 31, 1991. Subsequently, the first variant—designated PC-12—received approval from the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA) on March 30, 1994.
Following the certification of that PC-12 variant, Pilatus subsequently received approval for three additional variants—the PC-12/45, PC-12/47 and PC-12/47E—which were certified on June 4, 1996, Dec. 14, 2005, and March, 28, 2008, respectively.
Despite the differences between the variants of the PC-12, all four have a common maximum passenger seating capacity of nine, in addition to the single required pilot. However, when single-pilot operations are conducted, the maximum passenger capacity can be increased to 10, with the additional passenger occupying “the right-hand cockpit seat.” On the PC-12 NGX, those passengers are accommodated in cabin that has a length of 16 ft. 11 in., width of 5 ft. and height of 4 ft. 10 in.—as well as a volume of 330 ft.3—with both the length and volume measured from the “cockpit/cabin partition to [the] aft pressure bulkhead.”
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Mission and Performance
Operating limitations common to all PC-12 variants include maximum operating speed and Mach numbers (VMO/MMO) of 240-kt. calibrated airspeed (KCAS) and 0.48 Mach, respectively, as well as a maximum operating altitude of 30,000 ft. Based on the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), sea-level altitude, standard conditions and a runway that is dry and paved, the PC-12 NGX’s takeoff distance over a 50-ft. obstacle is 2,485 ft. Assuming the same criteria except the maximum landing weight, the landing distance over a 50-ft. obstacle is 2,170 ft. Pilatus also promotes the PC-12 NGX’s ability to operate from unpaved surfaces such as dirt, grass and gravel, as well as in known icing conditions.
All four variants of the PC-12 are powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engine that is flat-rated at 1,200 shp on takeoff, with the PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 variants equipped with the PT6A-67B, and the PC-12/47E powered by either the PT6A-67P (PC-12 NG) or PT6E-67XP (PC-12 NGX). Beyond its 10,450-lb. MTOW, Pilatus states that the basic operating weight of a PC-12 NGX—when operated by a single pilot and configured with a six-seat executive interior—is 6,803 lb.