Pilatus PC-12/45

Pilatus PC-12/45

FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, October 9, 2003

Designed in the early nineties as a regional airliner and corporate aircraft the Pilatus PC-12 was certified in 1994 and began delivery after that. This one is a 1997 and is owned by a charter company, Savant Aircraft Corporation of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The 1998 versions and all since have smaller winglets. These wing tip airfoils clean up the air that tends to tumble off in vortex curls from the aircraft's wing tips. Aircraft with winglets tend to be more efficient with better fuel economy and better all round performance.

When used as a commuter airliner the PC-12 carries nine passengers and has been certified in Canada and the United States for operation with a single pilot. This aircraft is set up as a corporate aircraft and has six passenger seats.

Designed to compete with the King Air class of aircraft it's interior is two inches longer and six inches wider than the Beechcraft King Air 200. When it comes to performance the PC-12 is remarkable.

Powered by a Canadian made Pratt and Whitney PT6A-66 turbine that produces 1,200 horsepower, driving a four blade Hartzell propeller it cruises at 25,000 at 232 knots in economy cruise with a range of 1,600

nautical miles.

The pilot shepherds this machine through the air with a full glass cockpit. Though an option, all PC-12 come with weather radar and that huge cargo door on the aft port side.

Aircraft of this type with around 2,000 hours on them sell for 2.4 million.

These under tail fins are seen on many aircraft of similar design as they smooth out turbulence and improve low speed handling. With this being a nose engined airplane the airflow around the fuselage rotates slightly the length of the body and exerts more pressure on the right side ("P") which is most noticeable at takeoff or on a missed approach.

The finish on this plane is so smooth you would think it is a composite but close examination shows that the convention aluminum rivets are body filled to give it a slick surface on fuselage and wings. The large flaps are handled by the under wing pods as seen in the starboard picture.

Below we get a close up view of the large winglet on this 1997 PC-12. With a ceiling of 30,000 a pilot can take his passengers around the weather when he is able to pick out the features with on board equipment like this.

You can see the static electric wicks on the back of the winglet

these are intended to bleed off the charge the fibreglass winglet builds up in flight.

Behind the spinner is the PT-6 which sits backwards to most jet and turboprop engines. The intake is below the spinner, air comes in to the back of the engine where its compressor boosts its pressure then the air moves forward combining with fuel, is ignited and rushes forward through the hot section of the turbine and is then sent out the two exhaust pipes on each side. The turbine is connected to a reduction system which in turn drives the propeller. The compressor turbine and the power turbine are not connected with a shaft which reduces the cost of overhaul. Pratt and Whitney has continued to evolve this engine which powers everything from Twin Otters to helicopters and the newest version is a turbofan for executive jet aircraft.

Timothy W. Shire



Return to Ensign - Return to Saskatchewan News

This page is a story posted on Ensign and/or Saskatchewan News, both of which are daily web sites offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. These publications are the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004