Pilatus Aircraft revealed its newest PC-12 upgrade – the PC-12 NGX at the NBAA Business Aviation Exhibition in Las Vegas. The aircraft is certified and deliveries will begin in the second quarter of 2020.
The PC-12 has been in operation since 1994, and during this time it went through several stages of modification, but the upgrades featured on this aircraft have become very significant for the legendary PC-12.
First of all, the engine was upgraded: a FADEC system with an automatic traction control was installed, and the engine itself became 5% more powerful, which increased the maximum speed and climb rate of the aircraft, as well as reduced the take-off distance. The engine now has a new mode of operation - Low Speed Prop - which allows to significantly reduce engine noise in the cabin due to a low engine speed. The changes also affected the fuel system, now the fuel, before getting into the engine, is heated by engine oil and the aircraft no longer needs additives!
The avionics has seen a lot of enhancement. A convenient touch screen flight management system (FMS) was installed. This facilitates the work of the pilot and makes the flight safer. The upgrade includes a large number of functional improvements: the installment of Smart Landing system, which before was featured only on large business jets, night map mode, emergency descent system and more. So, the PC-12 NGX is the first turboprop aircraft to make history with installed TCAS II system! This is a huge step in flight safety.
What about passenger comfort? Be sure, NGX has its trump card here. On board aircraft the interior design was completely reinvented: conceptually, the interior became similar to the one of PC-24. The seats now have taller backrests and are more comfortable with full-recline capability if required. The air conditioning and lighting systems were completely redesigned. The changes made to the headliner and reshaping of the seats provided more headroom and freedom of movement.
Although the aircraft has subtle external alterations, there is one significant change that will makes it easy to tell the NGX and NG apart: new cabin windows. They’ve become 10% larger and more rectangular in shape.
Another advantage of this modification is reduced operating costs. With the new PC-12 NGX scheduled maintenance intervals have been extended to 600 flight hours, and the time-between-overhaul period has been increased from 4,000 to 5,000 hours. These changes further reduce the cost of operating the PC-12 NGX. It’s a safe bet to say that in its class the PC-12 NGX left its competitors far behind.
These current modifications, featured in the PC-12 NGX, have become part of a consistent plan to improve the aircraft. The first major changes began in 2008: analog devices were replaced with a modern digital navigation system, in 2016 the aircraft exterior was upgraded (a five-blade propeller was installed and aerodynamics were improved), and now there has been a change in the internal systems and cabin interior. The scale of these modifications was so significant that it was decided to change the name of modification from NG to NGX.
“Pilatus always pays a lot of attention to its clients’ feedback, so even requests from the most demanding Russian customers were carefully considered. The PC-12 NGX has come so close to the business jet class, the only thing reminding us it’s still a turboprop is the propeller, ”says Mikhail Alenkin, Owner at Nesterov Aviation.
Allow us to remind that another Pilatus premiere took place at MAKS-2019 air show in August this year, Nesterov Aviation introduced the Super Versatile Jet PC-24 to the Russian audience for the first time.
Nesterov Aviation is an authorized Pilatus sales and service center in Russia.