Pilatus revealed the third generation of its PC-12 single-engine turboprop at a special event on 21 October 2019, the eve of NBAA-BACE. As well as improvements to the engine and avionics, the PC-12 NGX features a completely redesigned cabin with bigger windows, a new headliner, improved air conditioning and lower cabin noise.
The cabin windows have been enlarged by 10% and have a rectangular shape adapted from the PC-24. The cabin comes in six BMW Designworks interiors. The specially developed passenger seats have been designed for optimum ergonomics with full recline capability if required. The seats are arranged to provide maximum freedom of movement with more headroom thanks to the redesigned headliner. The air-conditioning system delivers better and quieter air distribution.
At the heart of the new PC-12 NGX is the PT6E-67XP turboprop engine by Pratt & Whitney Canada. This improved engine features an electronic propeller and engine control system including Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). In addition, the new propeller low-speed mode reduces cabin noise. The new engine enables the PC-12 NGX to achieve a maximum cruise speed of 290 ktas (537km/h). The PC-12 NGX also adds features like Prist-free fuel operation.
The Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) system by Honeywell, inspired by the PC-24, provides enhanced avionics. Features include a cursor control device, smart touchscreen controller and digital autothrottle.
Scheduled maintenance intervals have been extended to 600 flight hours. The time-between-overhaul period has also been increased from 4,000 to 5,000 hours.
“We are excited to reveal the new PC-12 NGX today,” said Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus. “To maintain the PC-12’s leadership in the general aviation marketplace, we continuously seek innovative solutions which benefit the safety, comfort and productivity of our customers. The PC-12 NGX is a showcase for the advanced technology collaboration between Pilatus, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Honeywell. Together, we took the best, and made it even better. What’s more, our customers do not have to wait years into the future to enjoy these benefits, the PC-12 NGX is here today.”
The base price of the PC-12 NGX in 2020 is US$4,390,000, with typically equipped executive-configured aircraft priced at US$5,369,000.
Pilatus presented the first series production PC-12 NGX at the static display at NBAA-BACE. The aircraft is certified, and customer deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2020.
In other news, Pilatus celebrated the 50th delivery of the PC-24 Super Versatile Jet, to a US customer. Certified in more than 10 countries, the global PC-24 fleet now exceeds the 14,000 flight-hour mark. The fleet leader has amassed 1,400 flying hours, in 20 months of service.
Designed to have a very versatile cabin, the PC-24 is used by customers ranging from fractional ownership structures to charter operators, public companies, private individuals, air ambulance operators and government authorities. Pilatus and the Authorised Pilatus Sales Centres are currently taking orders for aircraft scheduled for delivery in the latter half of 2021.
Over the past year, Pilatus has gathered feedback on how the first PC-24 customers are making use of the interior. The company unveiled a version at NBAA-BACE featuring a forward galley designed to provide additional storage space for coffee, ice, beverages and catering. Like other furniture and seats in the PC-24, the galley will be modular and interchangeable with the currently available coat closet.
Pilatus is also working on a retrofit option allowing the lavatory to be placed in the rear of the cabin. More than a few operators have expressed an interest in this. Like the PC-12, the PC-24 was designed as standard with a forward lavatory to ensure maximum flexibility for cargo in each cabin configuration.
The company also announced that its all-inclusive maintenance package, CrystalCare, has been adopted by more than 70% of all new PC-24 customers. The programme covers all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and inspections, AOG assignments, all consumable items and normal wear items like tyres and brakes.
“We are very pleased with how the PC-24 is performing for our customers, and demand remains very high,” said Thomas Bosshard, CEO of Pilatus Business Aircraft. “The Super Versatile Jet was designed to provide tremendous flexibility, a quality which delivers added value to the light and mid-size jet market. The feedback from our customers confirms that the PC-24 hits a sweet spot of capability that no other business jet can match. Our highest priority is making sure we provide a first-class level of service to an ever-growing number of customers who both deserve and expect no less.”