Pilatus PC-12 – The Turboprop Version of the Swiss Army Knife

The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine good-looking turboprop aircraft with diverse capabilities. Let it be a rescue mission into unpaved terrain, an expedited medical evacuation, or a comfy business ride, Pilatus PC-12 reserves its position on the go-to list.

Early ages of the Pilatus PC-12
Switzerland-based aerospace manufacturing company; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. manufactures this iconic masterpiece. Entered into the service in 1994 with a Pratt & Whitney Canada engine model (PT6) and upgraded to newer engine models making the aircraft more powerful and reliable. More than 1,700 PC-12s are soaring the skies and logged over seven million flying hours under their belt.

PC-12 Cabin: The Order Winner
The aircraft comes with a pressurized cabin making the PC-12 ideal for flying at high altitudes and a single pilot can fly the aircraft allowing more space for the passengers. Manufacturers have designed the cabin with improved versatility that qualifies the aircraft in diverse operations. It can hold up to 10 passengers within a cabin space of 9.34 m3 with a decent payload. A standalone feature of the Pilatus PC-12 is the pallet-sized aft cargo door and the spacious cargo hold that accommodates whatever you take, despite its size. In the newer NGX model, seats are designed to allow more headroom and to give full recline functionality improving the comfort of the passengers.
The aircraft is equipped with one lavatory located towards the left forward of the passenger cabin.
Pilatus engineers have worked hand in hand with the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney for a quieter cabin by reducing propeller noise penetrating the cabin. The low-speed propeller mode is a novel feature packed into the NGX version that allows pilots to enter a low-speed mode without compromising the aircraft’s performance.

PC-12 NGX Version Improvements

  • Pilatus PC-12 NGX fitted with the state-of-the-art PT6 E-series engine widens the capabilities of the operators as it has an extended overhaul period of 5,000 flight hours.
  • Enhanced cockpit with state-of-the-art Crew Alerting System (CAS) and an Emergency Descent Mode (EDM) improve the safety margins of the aircraft.
  • Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) is tailor-designed to improve situational awareness of the pilots in dire situations.
  • Digital auto-throttle incorporated into the Electronic Engine Control whittle-off pilot workload during the critical phases of the flight.
  • The latest generation of the PT6 engine delivers more power increasing the cruising speed to 290 knots allowing faster travel between the destinations.

The Role as an Air Ambulance
PC-12 is widely used as an air ambulance thanks to a few salient features: larger pallet-sized cargo door, wide cabin to accommodate stretchers, and ability to operate on unpaved surfaces. Aircraft can fit up to three stretchers and medical equipment within its cabin space along with medivac personnel. Operators highlight the low cost incurred with medivac operations of the Pilatus PC-12 when compared to the competitors creating a win-win situation for all the involved parties.

Keywords: Pilatus PC-12, Pilatus aircraft, air ambulance, business travel

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