Pilatus Aircraft celebrated the delivery of the 2,000th PC-12 turboprop on May 12, in a ceremony at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Stans, Switzerland.
The plane, which bears a special commemorative livery, was delivered to PlaneSense, a US fractional ownership company that operates a large fleet of Pilatus aircraft.
“We took delivery of our first PC-12, the 20th built, in 1995. This unique aircraft constitutes the backbone of our operation and has been an important part of the success of the PlaneSense program. Our customers have enjoyed the aircraft’s versatility, reliability, comfort, and efficiency for 28 years,” said George Antoniadis, Founder, President and CEO of PlaneSense.
The PC-12 plane that elevated Pilatus to the position of a major general aviation manufacturer, flew for the first time on May 31, 1991, taking off from Stans. The first series units were delivered in 1994 and the Swiss turboprop became one of the main references in a segment that has few options – one of the next models in this category will be the Denali, by Beechcraft.
Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus, said on delivery of the 2,000th turboprop aircraft: “Year after year, our PC -12 is, and will remain, the world’s best -selling single-engine turboprop aircraft in its class with pressurized cabin. Today, I’m very proud that I and my team are able to hand over the 2000th PC-12 to our exceptionally loyal and faithful PlaneSense customer.”
70 PC-12 turboprops flying right now
As you are reading this article, more than 70 PC-12 turboprops are flying somewhere in the world, according to Pilatus calculations. This month, the global fleet of the type surpassed 10 million flight hours. These planes serve on business travel, transport operations, medical evacuation and emergency missions, and search and rescue flights with civilian and military customers.
The latest version of the aircraft is the PC-12 NGX, launched in 2019, with upgrades to the traditional Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine, which is also certified to run on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
The PC-12 can be configured with up to nine passenger seats. As a freighter, it can carry around 1,000 kg, with cargo access facilitated by a large door on the side of the fuselage. According to the Swiss manufacturer, the plane flies at a cruising speed of 528 km/h at 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) altitude and has a range of 3,417 km.