PC-12 NG: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Released to target sales in the 200 region, few would be surprised if the PC-12 had quickly fulfilled its desired intentions and then subsequently retired along with a variety of similar aircraft.

However, the PC-12 proved its doubters wrong in no time.

Almost thirty years after it was first released, a new and improved PC-12 NG has been made public. This updated aircraft has continued the attention-to-detail oriented approach which has been implemented for three decades helping it become one of the more desired turboprop single-engine planes in existence. In almost every facet imaginable, the PC-12 NG has improved. More powerful engines. Increases in range, velocity, and take-off weight have led to its much-deserved popularity. Additionally, fresh avionics and constant updated in-flight entertainment are in its long list of continually added improvements.

PC-12 Next Generation

In 2006 they went one step further with the announcement of the PC-12 Next Generation, or simply PC-12 NG. The changes were familiar – again we saw more powerful engines (Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67P was the best fit), increased maximum speed, and a Honeywell Primus Apex glass cockpit that brought the aircraft up to speed with newer models that had entered the market in the 17 years up to that point.

In 2006, more positive changes were applied. The changes were what we came to expect, but again more powerful engines were installed (Pratt &Whitney PT6A-67 was considered its best compliment). Also, a top of the line Honeywell Primus Apex glass cockpit brought the aircraft up to date, and of course a further increase in max. speed was achieved.

So what is it about the PC-12 that gave it this lasting durability? How did it come to be that the PC-12 was modified so many times to keep it up to date with the current market, and why is there a continuing demand for an aircraft revealed in 1989 when we consider the massive progress that has been made since then? To find the answer, it’s necessary not to look at what the aircraft can do, but what it can’t.

The PC-12 has come equipped with a reputation for tremendous durability and constantly improved modification. Due to these factors, the PC-12 has earned continuous demand since its inception. However, to understand what makes the PC-12 special one must look to what the aircraft can’t do, rather than what it can.

What makes the PC-12 so desirable? It is not known for being the cheapest, nor the most expensive. Some would suggest choosing a cheaper model that operates on a similar level of performance. For example, the Cessna 208 Caravan. In order to understand why the PC-12 has achieved its fame, one must not only look at a single aspect but rather the final finished product in which a number of quality products come together to create an efficient, successful result.


Speed-wise, we notice that the PC-12 is able to reach speeds of 280 knots, easily 100 more than the Caravan’s 186 knots. This is still short 50 knots of another aircraft, the Socata TBM 900. Its interior can seat two crew members and nine passengers. It can also be customizable with ease at the discretion of the buyer. The PC-12 can boast a safety record and an assurance of reliability due to its usage by the U.S. Air Force, which gives an adrenaline injection to its already sterling reputation.

Getting it off the ground isn’t too taxing either. Dual electrical generators are automatically kick-started after the aircraft is powered on, and the NG model is rightfully single-pilot certified. It doesn’t have the amateur appeal of them but, once again, the passenger controls manage to hit that sweet spot that the PC-12 seems to do so effortlessly.

Take-off is as you can guess is another graceful maneuver by the PC-12 adding to its already vast repertoire. The aircraft has dual electrical generators that are automatically turned on after the aircraft switches on, and the NG model is deserved of its single-pilot certification. Although it may not have the appeal of the Cirrus SF50, the PC-12 passenger controls are effortless.

Built with pilots in mind

Often we approach an aircraft with thoughts about what they could have tweaked here to make it easier to fly, or what they could have changed there to make it more enjoyable as a passenger. With the PC-12, you get the impression it was built by a pilot, by a passenger, by a business investor – it ticks all the little boxes that add up to a big difference. Take the ‘Nearest Airport’ tab on the pilot’s display, for instance.

The Pilatus PC-12 B

What makes the PC-12 so unique is that it wasn’t built with one individual in mind. The PC-12 looks to address the needs of pilots, passengers, and also business investors. By fulfilling all these needs it ultimately makes a large difference in terms of its effectiveness. For example, look at the ‘Nearest Airport’ tab on the pilot’s display.

The touchscreen features allow the pilot to immediately pull up the closest airport along with the distance remaining as well as the length of the runway. Under, you can find a list of the closest airports in ascending order which can allow you to make a decision on where you’d like to stop on your trip. Even though none of this is especially innovative, it’s a promising indicator of the attention to detail that has made the PC-12 such a fine aircraft.

One glance at the numbers will earn further praise for the PC-12. Equipped with a Pratt & Whitney PT6A67P engine capable of 1,200 shp, also housing a standard six passenger seats with a capability of hosting nine in total, the PC-12 provides plenty of pop and comfort. The cabin is 4.9 ft. tall, 5 ft. wide, and almost 17 ft. long holding a wingspan of barely over 53 ft. With over 1,500 miles of range, and a 1,200 Lbs. payload, the PC-12’s multiuse potential is desirable by pilots everywhere.

An aircraft that just feels right

Without going into specific measurements, the basics of the aircraft can be summarized as follows: its continuously increasing range has allowed it to become the go-to for long distance flights while being capable of reaching speeds for regional flying. All this does not come to the expense of space or comfort: the pressurized cabin allows it to change between climates with comfort, and it can also travel with a maximum of eleven people or the equivalent space of cargo.

We are Orlando Florida based an industry-leading private jet charter service provider offering exceptional and unrivaled standards in service, flexibility, and efficiency. Get a personalized quote on the Pilatuus PC-12 turbo prop charters for your next trip, or any other occasion, contact us or call our 24/7 Flight Team at (561) 228-4924.

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