Pilatus Enhances PC-12 NG for 2016

Written by thomas · Filed Under Aeronautics News 

November 20, 2015


For 2016, Pilatus’ best-selling single turboprop PC-12 NG offers greater speed, better takeoff and climb performance, more cabin comfort, greater range, and a quieter cabin with no increase in fuel burn or operating cost. This boost in overall efficiency is exemplary of the core Pilatus tenant of being an environmentally conscious aircraft builder.

The 2016 Pilatus PC-12 NG cruises at a new maximum top-speed of 285 knots (528 km/h) thanks to an aerodynamic optimization effort which analyzed every square inch of the exterior of the PC-12 NG to come up with a number of enhancements to reduce drag. Several subtle, but important changes contribute to the increased speed with no additional power. The under wing flap actuator fairings for example were redesigned for smoother airflow around them and the cabin entry door handle was changed to a flush fitting design. Gaps and joints around the flaps were sealed, and several antennas were repositioned to align with localized air flow patterns.

New five blade propeller
The most noticeable change to the 2016 PC-12 NG is the standard five blade graphite composite propeller. Designed specifically for the PC-12 NG by Hartzell, this new propeller reduces cabin noise levels, improves takeoff and climb performance, reduces life cycle maintenance costs, and is easily repairable in the field. The propeller blades feature a nickel cobalt leading edge and are fabricated using aerospace-grade carbon fiber monocoque structural design. The thin blade shape is also optimized for low drag. The new propeller is certified for unlimited life. With a composite propeller, repairs are performed using epoxy, as opposed to filing away material on an aluminum propeller. In this manner, the composite blades are restored to factory-new dimensions at each overhaul interval. By the third overhaul cycle, the composite prop returns a significant value relative to the metal prop.

With cleaner aerodynamics and the new five blade propeller, takeoff, climb, and cruise performance are also improved. The 2016 PC-12 NG features a takeoff distance over 50 feet of only 2,600 feet (793 m). At maximum gross takeoff weight, it can climb to a cruise altitude of 28,000 feet (8’535 m) 10 percent quicker, and maximum range has been extended to 1,840 nm (3’407 km) with four passengers and VFR fuel reserves. Always seeking efficiency, Pilatus engineers were successful in optimizing the PC-12 NG to go farther and faster while using less fuel.

New interior and exterior packages
Enhancing the exterior styling of the 2016 PC-12 NG are six new exterior paint schemes designed by BMW Designworks. Pilatus and BMW have worked jointly for more than a decade to come up with stylish new exterior and interior designs which our customers enjoy and take pride in showing their distinct personality.

For 2016, there are now six unique BMW designed executive interiors for customers to choose from, and Pilatus continues to offer full customization services for those who desire something even more unique.

Updated avionics software
Build 10 of the avionics software enhances the flying experience with new features such as temperature compensation for Baro VNAV approaches, a route flight log to show airways SIDs and STARS in the flight plan, a Vertical Direct-To task menu option, pilot-entered waypoints on the iNav map, an option for orbital search patterns, and a multitude of additional refinements requested by PC-12 NG pilots around the world. In addition, flight plan loading directly into the Flight Management System is made even easier with Pilatus’ pioneering wireless gateway.

Markus Bucher, Chief Executive Officer of Pilatus, was on location at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual Convention and Exposition to unveil the new PC-12 NG. Regarding the new improvements for 2016, Bucher stated:

“The PC-12 NG is now and will continue to be a core aircraft in our general aviation portfolio. It dutifully serves as a uniquely capable aircraft which combines a large passenger cabin with turboprop reliability, single engine efficiency, short and unimproved runway capability and the utility of a standard cargo door. No other aircraft is quite like it, and with a worldwide fleet of over 1’300 aircraft which has collected over five million flight hours it has earned one of the safest operational records in all of business aviation.”

The new 2016 PC-12 NG is on sale now with a base price of $4,055,000. A typically equipped executive version retails for approximately $4,850,000.

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