Pilatus has delivered its 1,400th PC-12, around 22 years after the first example of the single-engined turboprop entered service.

The all-metal PC-12NG was handed over on 27 May to an unnamed US customer. This example is the third iteration of the 10-seat aircraft, introduced by the Swiss airframer in January. Priced at $4.9 million, this latest NG features better take-off and climb performance, more cabin comfort, greater range and speed and a quieter cabin.

Since the NG’s introduction in 2008, more than 630 units have been shipped, and the fleet has accumulated more than one million flying hours, says Pilatus. The entire PC-12 fleet, however, has amassed 5.6 million flight hours, it adds.

Pilatus PC-12


Annual deliveries of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-powered type have remained consistently strong over the last decade, hitting a record 100 units in 2009, according to statistics from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The market remains buoyant: in the first quarter of 2016, Pilatus shipped 16 aircraft, compared with seven during the same period last year, it reports.

The majority of PC-12s have been sold in a passenger transportation role, with private, corporate, charter and fractional operators making up the bulk of its customers.

Ignaz Gretener, vice-president of Pilatus’s general aviation division, describes the handover as an “exciting milestone”.

“While much attention has recently been focused on the new PC-24 jet,” he says, “the PC-12 is still the backbone of our general aviation business.”

Launched in 2013, the PC-24 is Pilatus’s first foray into the business jet market. The superlight twin is scheduled for certification and service entry in 2017.

Source: Flight International