A day before the opening of NBAA 2019 in Las Vegas, Pilatus unveiled its new single-engine turboprop in the PC-12 NGX, which incorporates an improved engine, smarter avionics and a completely redesigned cabin with larger windows. The aircraft, described by Pilatus as the most advanced single-engine turboprop ever, is the third generation of the PC-12 airframe. The base price of the PC-12 NGX in 2020 is US$4.39 million, with typically equipped executive-configured aircraft priced at US$5.37 million.
The PC-12 NGX was developed from experience gathered from the worldwide PC-12 fleet of more than 1,700 aircraft with more than seven million flight hours. The aircraft is powered by the PT6E-67XP turboprop engine from Pratt & Whitney Canada. Pilatus explains this improved engine features an Electronic Propeller and Engine Control System including Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) – a worldwide first in this market segment.
Pilatus also points to how the new propeller low speed mode results in a significant reduction in cabin noise for great passenger comfort. The new turboprop engine enables the PC-12 NGX to achieve a maximum cruise speed of 290 KTAS (537 kilometres per hour). The PC-12 NGX also adds advanced features like Prist-free fuel operation.
Pilatus explains the PC-12 NGX boasts a range of new features for the pilot, including the Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) System by Honeywell, as inspired by the PC-24 provides enhanced avionics. In another first for the segment, Pilatus combines the power of a cursor control device with the versatility of a smart touch screen controller in what it describes as a truly professional flight deck. The aircraft’s digital autothrottle (automatic thrust adjustment) reduces pilot workload for greater safety and, explains Pilatus, ensures automatic power optimisation in every phase of flight.
The cabin windows of the PC-12 NGX have been enlarged by 10 per cent to enhance the passenger experience and deliver more natural light. Pilatus explains the rectangular shape of the new windows, also adapted from the PC-24, and dark windshield surround trim create a distinctive ramp presence for the PC-12 NGX.
The completely redesigned cabin comes in six different BMW Designworks’ interiors. Pilatus explains the especially developed extremely light passenger seats offer optimum ergonomics with full-recline capability if required. The company states 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.
With the new PC-12 NGX, 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, thereby reducing the cost of operating the PC-12 NGX even further.
“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.”