The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop passenger and cargo aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The main market for the aircraft is corporate transport and regional airliner operators.
Pilatus announced the development of the PC-12 at the annual convention of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in October 1989. The first flight of the first of two prototypes took place on May 31, 1991. Certification of the type was originally planned for mid-1991 but a redesign of the wings (increase of wing span and addition of winglets to ensure performance guarantees were met) delayed this. Swiss certification finally took place on March 30, 1994, and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval followed on July 15, 1994.
As with many 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 may choose to utilize a second flight crew member. Pilatus offers the PC-12 in a standard nine-seat airliner form, in a four-passenger seat/freight Combi 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 pure freighter model is under consideration.
The PC-12M (Multipurpose) is based on the PC-12, but equipped with a more powerful electrical generation system that enables addition of additional power-consuming equipment. This enables the PC-12M to perform missions such as flight inspection, air ambulance, parachutist dropping, aerial photography, and aerial surveillance. 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 variant 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. Pilatus announced the PC-12NG (Next Generation) at the 2006 NBAA meeting in Orlando, 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 increase in 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.
Cruise speed: 430 km/h
Total range: 4 187 km
Engines: 1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A67B
Wingspan: 16.23 m
Length: 14.4 m
Height: 4.27 m
Length: 5.16 m
Width: 1.53 m
Height: 1.45 m
Passengers: up to 9
Baggage capacity: 1.1 cubic m