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Sat, May 13, 2023

Pilatus Delivers 2,000th PC-12

Historic Aircraft Handed Over to PlaneSense

Renowned for the outstanding aircraft it produces for both niche and mainstream markets, Swiss aerospace manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. announced on 12 May 2023 that it had delivered the two-thousandth specimen of its popular PC-12 single-engine turboprop.

The anniversary aircraft was allotted to PlaneSense—the Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based fractional aircraft ownership concern—by way of symbolic thanks for the company’s long-standing loyalty to the Pilatus marque.

Currently, PlaneSense’s fleet comprises 43 PC-12s and eleven PC-24s.

PlaneSense founder and CEO George Antoniadis stated: “We are honored to receive the two-thousandth PC-12. We took delivery of our first PC-12, the twentieth built, in 1995. This unique aircraft constitutes the backbone of our operation and has been an important part of the success of the PlaneSense program. Over the years, the mutual respect of our companies has supported a productive dialogue contributing to the improvement of the PC-12 and the PlaneSense program. Our clients have enjoyed the aircraft’s versatility, reliability, comfort, and efficiency for 28 years. Our partnership with Pilatus has been incredibly valuable and we look forward to expanding it further in the years to come.”

Pilatus CEO Markus Bucher remarked at the delivery ceremony: “Year after year, our PC -12 is, and will remain, the world’s best -selling single-engine turboprop aircraft in its class with pressurized cabin. We have continually developed our bestseller over the years and the current PC-12 is state of the art. Today, I’m very proud that I and my team are able to hand over the two-thousandth PC-12 to our exceptionally loyal and faithful customer PlaneSense. I’m grateful that we can count this very professional company among our customers. PlaneSense is an important part of the PC-12’s history, demonstrating day in, day out, that our proven, reliable and safe aircraft is ideally suited to the most demanding of missions. Quite simply, it’s the best aircraft in its class!”

At any given time, the world’s skies are populated by as many as seventy PC-12s. In 2022 alone, Pilatus produced eighty of the segment-leading turboprop singles for deliveries across the wide world.

On 01 May 2023, Pilatus announced the global fleet of PC-12s had surpassed ten-million flight hours.

In a statement addressing the milestone achievement, the Swiss plane-maker asserted: “Pilatus is proud to announce that with almost two-thousand PC-12s delivered, the global fleet of the popular single-engine turboprop has officially accumulated more than ten-million flight hours. … As a whole, the PC-12 fleet has recorded more than 9.3-million landings, with four aircraft reporting over fifty-thousand landings.

The latest iteration of Pilatus’s storied PC-12 family is the PC-12 NGX, which improves on its forebears by dint of a new 1,200-shaft-horsepower PT6E-67XP powerplant, which—in addition to motivating the aircraft to a cruise-speed of 290-knots—features dual-channel, Full-Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).

The PC-12NGX’s single power-lever governs both engine power output and propeller RPMs, thereby reducing pilot workload and significantly diminishing perishable flying skills. What’s more, in cruise flight, pilots may select a propeller low-speed mode, the activation of which reduces the model’s cabin and over-flight noise.

The PC-12NGX cockpit features Honeywell avionics with outstanding babysitting functions such as tactile feedback in unusual attitudes, an Emergency Descent Mode (EDM), and a Crew Alerting System (CAS) that automatically populates the aircraft’s Multi-Function-Display (MFD) with electronic checklists the aircraft deems situationally appropriate.

All told, PC-12NGX pilots will enjoy availing themselves of four ten-inch LCD displays, Honeywell’s SmartView Synthetic Vision System with HUD-based performance symbology, an Interactive Navigation (INAV) system, fully-integrated Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), dual Flight Management System (FMS) installations, Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System I/II (TCAS), graphical flight-planning, touch-screen controllers, and a Cursor Control Device (CCD).

In 2023, Pilatus’s PC-12 aircraft family, to include the NGX model, is operated by corporate flight departments, individual owner-operators, fractional and charter companies, air ambulance service providers, and numerous world militaries which make use of the aircrafts’ toughness and expansive capabilities. The PC-12’s large cabin, standard cargo door, docile handling characteristics, and low operating costs make for a uniquely attractive and useful machine, at once conducive to transporting executives between major city centers, hauling cargo between remote and austere environs, and advancing tactically against threats to national security.

FMI: www.pilatus-aircraft.com

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