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PC-12: So long joystick, hello trackballPC-12: So long joystick, hello trackball

pc-12Pilots of Honeywell Apex-equipped Pilatus PC-12 NGs will now have two ways of  making data entries on the interactive navigation’s (INAV's) two large multifunction displays. The joystick control used in the original installations will still be there, but now Pilatus is adding a cursor control device (CCD). The CCD has a palm rest, a trackball, a scroll wheel, and selection buttons. It will be mounted aft of the PCL (power control lever) on the center pedestal. The palm rest steadies the hand, the trackball positions the cursor, and the buttons are for clicking to execute various actions within the MFD fields.

PC-12 NG installed PC-12 NG installed in Pilatus cockpit.
Click photo for larger image.

The CCDs will be standard equipment beginning with 2010 models of the PC-12 NG. However, the joystick remains, so pilots will have their choice of navigating the MFD data entry fields.

“Imagine using a computer today having to enter all your information using buttons or concentric knobs,” said Dietmar Bretscher, Pilatus’ head of engineering for corporate and utility aircraft. “It would be a challenge until someone handed you a mouse.“

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.

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