The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop passenger and cargo aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The aircraft is capable of transporting up to 10 passengers.
History and Features
In October 1989, Pilatus announced the development of the PC-12. Prior to the 1989 announcement, the PC-12 project had been worked on for some time under high levels of secrecy; by the time of the announcement, assembly of the first prototype had already commenced.
Pilatus believed that the PC-12 would fit a new market not served by existing aircraft and that the type would be the first single-engine aircraft capable of a large volume at high speed across long distances. The two prototypes were completed on 1 May 1991, with the first flight taking place on 31 May 1991. On 30 March 1994, the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation issued the type certificate for the PC-12; Federal Aviation Administration approval in the U.S. followed on 15 July 1994.
Pilatus announced the PC-12NG (Next Generation) in 2007 in Atlanta. Within two years of launch, over 200 orders reportedly had been placed for the PC-12 NG. In May 2008, the first PC-12 NG was delivered.
The PC-12M (Multipurpose) is based on the PC-12 NG but equipped with a more powerful electrical generation system allows installing additional power-consuming equipment. This enables the PC-12M to perform missions such as flight inspection, air ambulance, aerial photography and aerial surveillance. An optional utility door accommodates parachute drops of people and cargo. This version is marketed in the United States as the PC-12 Spectre paramilitary special missions platform.
Aircraft of similar role, configuration and era are: Aero Ae 270 Ibis, Cessna Denali, Myasishchev M-101T, Piper Meridian, Socata TBM.