Pilatus Shows Off the New PC-12 NGX

The company calls it the best new airplane since the PC-12.

Pilatus PC-12 NGX
The PC-12 NGX has already been certified by both the FAA and EASA.Pilatus

Pilatus Aircraft's successful single-engine PC-12, of which some 1,700 have been built, just got better as the company last night announced at NBAA in Las Vegas. Pilatus' new aircraft is the third generation of the venerable PC-12 airframe, dubbed the PC-12 NGX. Design of the new PC-12 NGX actually began more than three years ago, with flight testing having begun in December 2017. The PC-12 is already certified by both the FAA and EASA.

Building on its outstanding safety record of more than 7.5 million flight hours, the new PC-12 NGX is powered by the Pratt & Whitney PT6E-67XP turboprop engine that includes a dual-channel integrated electronic propeller and engine control for full digital envelope protection as well as precise, intuitive engine control. The PC-12 NGX’s engine is controlled through a single power lever and features a fully-integrated digital auto-throttle as an option. The PT6E-67XP engine produces 1,825 thermodynamic shaft horsepower and is flat rated to 1,100 shaft horsepower in cruise flight. This 10% increase in cruise power helps the aircraft reach a maximum cruise speed of 290 KTAS. The PC-12 NGX also offers a “Low Prop Speed” mode, which reduces the propeller speed from 1,700 revolutions per minute to 1,550 for significant reductions in noise both inside and outside the aircraft. The PC-12 NGX features a new emergency descent mode that provides an extra layer of safety for high altitude operations, and tactile feedback that helps pilots avoid unintentional excessive bank angles.

Operators will appreciate the 5,000-hour TBO Pratt & Whitney Canada has attached to the PC-12 NGX. Hot section inspections are only required on-condition. The new PC-12 NGX includes scheduled maintenance intervals that have been extended to 600 flight hours, and hourly direct operating costs for the engine and airframe that have been reduced by at least 9%, depending on annual utilization. For high utilization operators, the extended maintenance intervals enable significant additional cost savings by incurring less down-time and fewer trips to and from a maintenance facility.

The PC-12 NGX cockpit was created around the Advanced Cockpit Environment, powered by Honeywell Epic 2.0 technology that incorporates a new touch screen avionics controller with integrated bezel contour grips which stabilize the pilot’s hand in turbulence. Additional avionics features and functionality include brighter, more vivid color flight displays, night-mode charts, pilot-defined visual approaches, high resolution 2-D airport moving maps, Honeywell’s SmartLanding and SmartRunway awareness systems, 3-D intelligent audio with ATC playback and Bluetooth interface, electronic checklists linked to Crew Alerting System (CAS) messages, worldwide graphical weather, support for European PM-CPDLC mandates, and faster database loading.

Inside the cabin, passengers will enjoy larger windows that add more natural light. The rectangular shape of the new windows and dark windshield-surround trim were inspired by the PC-24. New executive seats provide more headroom, full-recline capability, improved lumbar support, and modern design and ergonomics. The new seats are designed with quick-release attachments so that pilots can easily reconfigure the cabin layout in a matter of minutes, without support from maintenance personnel.

Base price of the PC-12 NGX in 2020 USD is $4,390,000, with typically equipped executive-configured aircraft priced at $5,369,000. Customer deliveries of the PC-12 NGX are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2020.