Drag reduction has increased the speed of the Pilatus PC-12 NG to 280 knots true airspeed. “The top speed, and most cruise speeds across all altitudes and weights, has increased by 5 knots,” said Tom Aniello, Pilatus Business Aircraft vice president of marketing.
Under-wing flap actuator fairings “were redesigned for smoother airflow around them and the cabin entry door handle was changed to a flush fitting design. Gaps and joints around the flaps were sealed, and several antennas were repositioned to align with localized air flow patterns,” the company said in a news release.
The 2016 PC-12 NG is priced at $4.055 million. The approximate retail cost of a typically equipped executive version is $4.85 million.
A new propeller has improved climb performance, the company said. Using a five-blade graphite composite propeller designed for the PC-12 NG by Hartzell, the aircraft can now reach 28,000 feet in 24 minutes versus 26.7 minutes with the previous propeller. The prop also is claimed to reduce cabin noise and to result in overhaul savings after the third overhaul. It is certified for “unlimited life,” and “repairs are performed using epoxy, as opposed to filing away material on an aluminum propeller.” Takeoff distance over a 50-foot obstacle is 2,600 feet.
There are also six BMW-designed executive interiors for customers to choose from that can be customized. Avionics were upgraded, too, and include a wireless gateway for loading flight plans into the flight management system.
In other news, the second PC-24 jet prototype made its first flight Nov. 16.