Announced in October 1989, the PC-12’s design has come about after analysis of various missions. Pilatus built two prototypes, the first flying on May 31, 1991, and it took just over 600 flight hours over three years to obtain Swiss certification. US FAA certification was awarded five months after this and the aircraft made its first sale to a US customer the very same day.
The PC- 2 has various internal configurations: a six-seat executive aircraft, a nine-seat corporate commuter, a “combi” carrying four passengers and 210 cu.ft of freight, an all-cargo version with its 330 cu.ft cabin area and the special mission aircraft. With a cabin over 5 metres in length, and a pressurisation differential of 5.75 psi giving a cabin altitude of 9,000 ft at 30,000 ft, the PC-12’s maximum operating certified altitude.
The PC-12’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67B turboprop engine is de-rated to 1,200 shp for take-off and 1000 shp in the cruise. Pilatus has improved the engine governor system on the PC-12 to the point where you simply push the power lever forward for take-off and confirm that the engine is indeed making full power. There is no propeller lever as the four-bladed, aluminium, fully reversible Hartzell propeller is governed to a constant speed of 1,700 rpm. With a diameter of 2.67 m, the propeller clears the ground by only 32 cm at minimum extension.
The digital engine instrument system panel, the EIS (engine instrument system), displays all the indicators for the engine, while the overhead panel contains the electrical power management controls and indicators.
The flight controls are conventional, using push-pull rods and carbon steel cables connected to the pilot’s and copilot’s control wheels and rudder pedals. Electric triple-trim systems assist the pilot in controlling the aircraft around pitch, roll and yaw axes and the aircraft has Fowler flaps that have four operating positions: 0 degrees (up), 15 degrees (take-off), 30 degrees (also take-off) and 40 degrees (landing), with intermediate positions able to be selected. The flaps will stop automatically if an asymmetric condition of more than 5 degrees is detected and the rudder has a yaw damper and an auto-trim system. The PC-12’s landing gear is a conventional tricycle arrangement and has been designed for both grass and rough field operations. The PC- 12 has a very simple fuel system with no fuel management required and the aircraft has an automatic fuel balance feature. The 1,522 litres of total useable fuel, stored in four integral wing tanks, gives the pilot around eight hours of IFR endurance.
The PC-12 is the first single-engine aircraft to qualify for a stalling speed above 61 knots at a maximum take-off weight of 4,500 kg. The PC- 12 has a stick pusher, which applies 50 lbs of forward pressure, so the aircraft is highly unlikely to be unintentionally stalled. In the landing configuration with gear down and flaps extended, the shaker begins at 65 knots and the pusher at 59 knots. When the aircraft is “clean” the shaker comes in at 90 knots and the pusher at 85 knots. Before the pusher takes effect the two aircraft computers calculate how much the nose must be lowered to avert at stall. When the PC-12 is stalled, it is fairly typical in its behaviour.
Because the PC-12 is considerably electrically dependent it has two generators, which are able to back each other up, and a 43-amp battery. The battery can take the load of one nav/com unit and the GPS for at least an hour after lose of engine electrical power.
Engine: Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67B turboprop, (max) 1200 shp / 1327kW, (continuous) 1000 shp
Wingspan: 53 ft 3 in / 16.23m
Length: 47 ft 3 in / 14.4m
Height: 14 ft / 4.26m
Max ramp weight: 9965 lb
Max take-off weight: 4000 kg / 8819 lb
Empty weight: 2386 kg / 5260 lb
Usable fuel: 1,522 lt / 402 USG
Payload: 1150kg / 2535 lb
Wing loading: 35.7 lbs./sq. ft
Power loading: 8.2 lbs./shp
ROC SL: 2000 fpm
ROC FL200: 1500 fpm
Service ceiling: 7620 m / 25000 ft
Max certified alt: 30,000 ft
Max operating speed: 240 kts
Cruise speed: 497 km/h / 309 mph
Max range: 2172 nm
Range with 640 kg: 1600 nm
Range with 1430 kg: 400 nm
Takeoff distance: 1475 ft
Landing distance: 945 ft
Cabin volume: 330 cu.ft
Base price: $2,700,000
2009 Pilatus PC-12 NG
Base Price: $3.8 million
Engine: Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67P, 1200 shp
Max Takeoff Weight: 10,450 lb
Max Payload: 2866 lb
Rate Of Climb: 26.5 min to FL300
Max Certified Altitude: 30,000 ft
Max Cruise Speed: 280 kt
Fuel Flow @ Max Cruise: 491 lb/hr (73 gph)
Takeoff Distance Over 50 Ft. Obstacle: 2650 ft