PILATUS PC-12

TYPE: Light utility turboprop.

PROGRAMME: Announced at NBAA Convention October 1989; first flight P.01 (HB-FOA) 31 May 1991; first flight of P.02 second prototype (HB-FOB) 28 May 1993; Swiss certification to FAR Pt 23 Amendment 42 (covering FAR Pt 135 commercial and Pt 91 general operations) received 30 March 1994, FAA type approval 15 July 1994, and FAR Pt 25 certification for flight into known icing conditions in 1995. Deliveries (N312BC to Carlston Leasing Corporation in USA) began September 1994.
Higher gross weight option (4.5 tonnes, hence PC-12/45) introduced in 1996 and gained FAA certification on 31 July 1996; became production standard by 1997. FAA FAR pt 135 approval for commercial single-engined IFR operations announced in third quarter 1997; production increased from three to four per month in August 1997. First airline scheduled service operator (1997) was Kelner Airways of Canada. Total of 76 ordered and 51 delivered in 1998 (including 100th in April); 29 ordered in first half of 1999; 200th sale announced at NBAA Convention. Worldwide fleet hours passed 675,000 in October 2003. Now certified in 20 countries. 1,500th Pilatus single-engined turboprop, manufactured in mid-2001, was PC-12 N377PC.

CURRENT VERSIONS: Standard: Nine-passenger commuter or passenger/cargo combi.
Detailed description applies to standard PC-12/45 except where indicated.
Executive: Six to eight passenger seats.
PC-12M and Spectre: Multi-mission versions; described separately.

CUSTOMERS: Completion of 300th production aircraft effected in 2001 and 400th in (N500ZP) in August 2003. Deliveries in 2000 and 2001 totalled 70 each, 45 in 2002, and 55 in 2003. Some 59 per cent of first 400 aircraft are registered in USA; further 14 per cent in Canada (including nine with Royal Canadian Mounted Police). Sales total includes 8 per cent in air ambulance configuration. US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) received two in transport configuration in December 1999 and October 2000, and predicts further orders. Other customers include those in Argentina (Border Guard), Australia (Royal Flying Doctor Service with 17 aircraft, including three delivered in early 2002), Australia, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa (Red Cross), Switzerland, USA and Zimbabwe.
Approximately 10 per cent of those sold are in air ambulance configuration. First single-engine turboprop fractional ownership scheme involves PC-12s of Alpha Flying's PlaneSense programme at Nashua, New Hampshire, USA. Similar scheme introduced 2001 by Lions Air TimeJet of Zurich, Switzerland.

COSTS: Basic price US$2,712,760 (2002). Direct operating cost US$359,29 per hour (mid-2003).

DESIGN FEATURES: Able to fly three 200 n mile (370 km; 230 mile) sectors in 6 hour flight; approved for single-pilot VFR/IFR operation into known icing.
Low-wing monoplane with tapered wing and T tail; latter's mounting reduces trim changes with power; CG range 13 to 46 per cent of MAC. Modifications following early flight trials include introduction of winglets, increased wing span, paired elevators instead of single surface, sweptback tailplane/elevator tips, addition of tailplane/fin bullet fairing, and enlarged dorsal fin and ventral strakes.
Wing sections (modified NASA GA(W)-1 series), LS(1)-0417-MOD at root and LS(1)-0313 at tip.

FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Actuation by pushrods and cables; servo tab in each aileron; electrically actuated Flettner tab in rudder; short-span mass-balanced ailerons; electrically actuated Fowler flaps cover 67 per cent of wing trailing-edge; electrically actuated (dual redundant) variable incidence tailplane.

STRUCTURE: Aluminium alloy primary skin and structure; composites for ventral strakes and dorsal fin (Kevlar/honeycomb sandwich), wingtips (glass fibre), fairings, engine cowling (glass fibre/honeycomb sandwich) and interior trim; titanium firewall; two-spar wing with integral fuel tankage; airframe proved for 20,000 hour life; complete internal and external corrosion protection.
All parts fabricated in Switzerland, but wings and fuselage assembled by OGMA in Portugal before return to Swiss production line. North American interiors installed in USA finishing centre; others outfitted at Stans.

LANDING GEAR: Pilatus hydraulically retractable tricycle type, with single wheel on each unit; nosewheel mechanically steerable ±60o. Emergency extension system; toe-operated brakes; parking brake. Suitable for operation from grass strips. Goodrich wheels and low-pressure tyres on all units; size 22x8.50-10 on main gear, 17.5x6.25-6 on nose unit; tyre pressure 4.14 bar (60 lb/sq in) on nose unit, 3.79 bar (55 lb/sq in) on main units. Propeller ground clearance maintained with nose leg compressed and nosewheel tyre flat. Trailing-link main gear retracts inward into wings, nose gear rearward under flight deck. Ground turning radius about wingtip 10.31 m (33 ft 6 in), about main gear 4.50 m (14 ft 9 in).

POWER PLANT: One 1,197 kW (1,605 shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67B turboprop, flat rated to 895 kW (1,200 shp) for T-O and 746 kW (1,000 shp) for climb and cruise. Hartzell HC-E4A-3D/E10477K constant-speed, fully feathering reversible-pitch four-blade aluminium propeller, turning at 1,700 rpm. Two integral fuel tanks in wings, total capacity 1,540 litres (407 US gallons; 339 Imp gallons), of which 1,522 litres (402 US gallons; 335 Imp gallons) are usable. Gravity fuelling point in top of each wing. Oil capacity 11 litres (2.9 US gallons; 2.4 Imp gallons).

ACCOMMODATION: Two-seat flight deck: approved for single pilot, with dual controls; second flight instrument panel optional. Limit of nine passengers under FAR Pt 23, or executive layout for six to eight, both with lavatory. Two or three stretcher patients, plus life support systems and medical attendants, in ambulance configuration. Downward-opening airstair crew/passenger door at front, upward-opening cargo door at rear, both on port side; Type III emergency exit above wing on starboard side.

SYSTEMS: Normalair Garrett engine bleed air ECS, maximum pressure differential 0,4 bar (5.8 lb/sq in), maintaining a 2,440 m (8,000 ft) cabin altitude at 7,620 m (25,000 ft). Vickers Systems (Germany) hydraulic system, pressure 207 bar (3,000 lb/sq in), for landing gear actuation. Electrical power system (28 V DC) supplied by 300 A engine-driven starter/generator), 130 A back-up alternator and 24 V 40 Ah Ni/Cd battery. Second Ni/Cd battery optional. Goodrich pneumatic boot de-icing of wing and tailplane leading-edges; Goodrich electric anti-icing of windscreen, propeller blades, pilot probes and stall warning sensor; exhaust air anti-icing of engine air intake. Oxygen system for crew and passengers.

AVIONICS: Comms: Bendix/King dual KX 165A VHF nav/com transceivers, KMA 24H audio control/voice activated intercom system, KT 70 Mode S transponder, KR 21 marker beacon receiver, and SEPRE-IESM kannad 121 FLT, all standard; Bendix/King KHF 950 HF radio optional.
Radar: Honeywell RDR 2000 weather radar standard, mounted in wing pod.
Flight: Honeywell KFC 325 autopilot system, KN 63 DME, KR 87 ADF, KNI 582 RMI, KRA 405 radar altimeter, KEA 130A encoding altimeter, Bendix/King KLN 90B GPS and Litef LCR-92 AHRS standard; second LCR-92, WX 1000E Stormscope, TCAS 66A, Mk VI GPWS, KMD 850 MFD, IHAS 8000 traffic and terrain awareness system, and co-pilot's EFIS, all optional.
Instrumentation: Bendix/King EHI 40/50 EFIS with 102 mm (4 in) display standard; 127 mm (5 in) EFIS on pilot and co-pilot panels, optional.

 

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