The brand new РС-12 NGX premiere took place in Las Vegas, where Pilatus Aircraft unveiled its aircraft to the public for the first time, with type certificates from the FAA and EASA, the updates made on this aircraft were so significant that Pilatus Aircraft even changed the modification name from NG to NGX!
So, what are the main differences between РС-12 NG and PC-12 NGX?
One of the major changes on the aircraft is the new engine. The FADEC system with automatic traction control was installed on the PC-12 NGX engine. The FADEC system greatly facilitates the work of the pilot, lowering workload while providing greater levels of control and responsiveness. Engine power was increased by 5%, which raised speed and climb rate of the aircraft.
Another upgrade that makes life easier for the pilot is the redesigned aircraft fuel system. Now the fuel, before getting into the engine, is preheated with oil from the engine. This eliminates the possibility of ice formation in flight and eliminates the need for additives that were usually added to the fuel. Meanwhile, a pilot sees the temperature of the fuel that is supplied to the engine.
Another important improvement done to the engine is that it now automatically restarts in the event of a shutdown and continues to operate in the event of a power outage.
These upgrades will be appreciated by the pilots of the aircraft. But what about passengers? There is a new mode of operation of the engine and propeller: Low Speed Prop. When the aircraft climbs to a certain level, this mode is activated by pressing a button and the propeller speed is reduced from 1700 rpm to 1550 rpm. This allows to significantly reduce the noise from the propeller in the cabin, without losing power and speed of the aircraft.
Some major changes have affected the avionics. Now Flight Management System (FMS) has become touch-sensitive. This greatly speeds up and facilitates the work process for the pilot.
Emergency descent mode is now available: in case of depressurization of the cabin, the plane automatically turns 90 degrees to the left and descends to 15,000 feet, where oxygen masks are no longer needed, and pilots are able to have full control of the aircraft.
Another feature that affects flight safety is the Smart Landing system. The navigation system monitors the position of the aircraft relative to the landing strip and will warn the pilot, for example, about landing on the taxiway. This type of functionality is available on large private jets such as Falcon and Gulfstream. And now on the Pilatus PC-12 NGX.
Another important innovation is the installation of a 2nd generation traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS). This is the first time that such a system is featured on a turboprop aircraft. It not only warns the pilot about a possible collision (“Check the air situation”), but also gives the pilot specific commands (“Start descend!” Or “Take-off!”) synchronized with the second aircraft.
These changes are very significant, but invisible to passengers. The most noticeable change in the aircraft, which especially pleases the owners, is a completely redesigned cabin. An incredibly painstaking work was done and the interior has changed beyond recognition.
Now it is an ultra-modern design reminiscent of business jets. The seats were redesigned to look similar to the ones on the PC-24, but these have their own characteristics: this is a capital X positioned on the back of each seat. The seats headrests became higher than on NG, which made the seats more comfortable for tall people.
The seats are located slightly lower, and the upper panel above the passengers' head was redesigned and is now located higher. This allowed to significantly increase the headroom for the passengers.
Another important feature that aircraft owners were waiting for: the seats on the NGX have full-recline capability. Now long flights have become even more comfortable!
The air conditioning system of the aircraft has also undergone an upgrade, which will definitely please passengers. Before it was installed in the aft and had one exit point to the cabin, now it is distributed throughout the cabin and has many exit points, making it much quieter and more efficient.
Although the aircraft has not changed much externally, there is one difference that will make it easy to distinguish the Pilatus PC-12 NGX from NG – the new windows. They are 10% larger and become more rectangular, the same as on the PC-24. Tall people will find them more convenient to look through.
It is almost impossible to describe all the advantages of the new PC-12 NGX in one word, although the word "iconic" is very suitable!