Pilatus chose Honeywell’s Sunday evening media event to announce a Next Generation PC-12 featuring a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprop engine and a four-tube Honeywell Apex integrated avionics suite.
The Swiss airframer said a program is under way to certify the enhanced version of what it calls the world’s best selling turbine business aircraft by the end of next year, with deliveries to commence immediately afterward.
Pilatus executives Thomas Hunziker and Ulli Gehling shared details of the Apex avionics package and how it will integrate and automate presentation of flight information, engine monitoring and aircraft configuration with the control and status of pressurization and environmental systems. The 10- by 8-inch liquid-crystal displays will also place flight and weather data, charts and trip planning information within easy reach of pilots.
The new Next Generation PC-12, while externally identical to the presently offered aircraft, will gain additional climb performance and cruise speed with a PWC PT6A-67P engine providing 15 percent more thermodynamic power than the present PT6A-67B powerplant, which is flat-rated to 1,200 shp. Other PC-12 enhancements include a digital dual-zone environmental control system, fully automatic cabin pressurization control requiring no pilot input, and a fully redundant electric power generation and distribution system to provide redundancy and automatic load-shedding when required.
Pilatus promises pilots and passengers greater comfort from a BMW-designed cabin and cockpit embodying “the ultimate in both ergonomics and aesthetic appeal.”