FAA Awards STC for Innovative Solutions & Support’s PC-12 Autothrottle

The technology is part of the NextGen Flight Deck for retrofit in the Pilatus turboprop.

Pilatus PC-12
The IS&S autothrottle can be installed on any airplane powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine, including the Pilatus PC-12.Pilatus Aircraft Ltd

The FAA has awarded supplemental type certification for Innovative Solutions & Support's non-Fadec turboprop autothrottle. The Exton, Pennsylvania-based company said this week the autothrottle is now available to a market that features at least 25 different aircraft and over 13,000 individual tail numbers. Chief among them is the Pilatus PC-12, for which IS&S's NextGen Flight Deck, certified by the FAA in April, now includes the new autothrottle.

The company announced its Pilatus PC-12 cockpit retrofit at the NBAA Convention in 2015, and while understandably secretive at the time, chairman and CEO Geoffrey Hedrick hyped the new autothrottle system's uniqueness, calling it "different than virtually all of our products in our portfolio."

"You may recall that the Eclipse checks contained an IS&S auto-throttle computer that is certifying and operating well," he explained in a 2015 conference call with investors. "We decided to adopt entire Eclipse flight deck to several high-end turboprops, PC-12 as an example. This auto-throttle requires a development of a revolutionary power control actuator for non-FADEC engines. We have developed and have patents pending, which are applicable to a product range of turboprops including twins. It may also be applicable to large multi-engine military aircraft. The enthusiastic reception at NBAA was exciting and remarkable."

The IS&S autothrottle can be installed on any airplane powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine, providing for Fadec-like engine protection, while preventing over-torque and over-temperature conditions, according to the company. Ultimately, it reduces pilot workload and promotes pilot safety by providing speed envelope protection. The autothrottle also "computes and controls appropriate power levels," which gives pilots the ability to automatically control power settings. Additional information on the authtrottles modes and highlights is available here.