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JUNE 2015 ISSUE

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‘A large number of air forces and government organisations use the PC-12 to fulfil specific missions’
 
Jim RocheVice president, government aviation & deputy CEO, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, Jim Roche

What is the latest information on the PC-12 with regards to deliveries and latest configurations on offer?
In terms of deliveries, in February this year, Pilatus delivered the 1,300th unit of its single engine turboprop PC-12 to California-based airline Surf Air. The versatile PC-12 NG performs many roles worldwide, including executive transport, commuter, medevac, police and border surveillance, cargo transport, military liaison, and regional airliner. The PC-12 fleet has amassed more than five million flight hours of operating experience, including thousands of hours in some of the world’s harshest environments. For 13 consecutive years, PC-12 operators have ranked Pilatus customer support as the best in the industry in an annual survey conducted by Professional Pilot magazine.

Please provide more information on the military versions of the PC-12 and where they are in use?
A large number of air forces and government organisations (such as the US Air Force, Finnish Air Force, Bulgarian Air Force, Swiss Air Force, Gendamería Nacional Argentina, Australian Royal Flying Doctors etc.) use the PC-12 to fulfil specific missions.

Military applications include: Cargo Transport, Air Ambulance, VIP Transport, Para Dropping (using the unique Utility Door Option), Search and Rescue (SAR), Airborne Command-and-Control, Covert intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) Operations, Special Forces Operations, Aircrew Flight Training. The U-28A is the US Air Force variant of the PC-12 for intra-theatre support of special operations forces.

Please provide more information on the PC-12 Spectre special mission aircraft?
The PC-12 Spectre is the special mission variant of Pilatus’s renowned single-engine multi-role aircraft. While its surveillance package will identify targets, its passenger and cargo capability can transport your tactical teams and equipment exactly where needed. Airborne command-and-control, interdiction, search and rescue, incident response and cargo transport missions — the Spectre has it covered.

It can be reconfigured quickly so the surveillance system won’t impact your other capabilities when not in use. The whole camera operator station can be removed in a few simple steps — unlatch the console and unplug its single quick-disconnect wiring harness and you have full use of the cabin for nine passenger seats, or palletised cargo. The Spectre’s flexible design also excels in air medical missions. Its pressurized, 330-cubic-foot cabin accommodates up to three patients, in addition to life support equipment and medical personnel.

What are the chief reasons for the outstanding success and longevity of the PC-12?
The global demand for the PC-12 NG remains very strong even as Pilatus completed the 1,300th delivery this year. This number continues to grow further with between 65 to 100 PC-12 NG aircraft being added annually. Pilatus emphasises its commitment to innovation that underpins the introduction of new features and capabilities for the PC-12 to cater for the immense future potential in this market segment.

The PC-12 NG’s modern, yet simple and intuitive systems make troubleshooting and repair a breeze and consequently the PC-12 NG requires far fewer maintenance hours per flight hour than other aircraft traditionally used for special mission roles. It is no wonder that Pilatus enjoys a reputation as the world market leader in this segment.

The recent, most significant upgrades in the NG version of the PC-12, also known as the PC-12/47E, include a Honeywell all-glass integrated cockpit and an all-electric landing gear system which replaced the previous hydraulic system. The electric landing gear generates a 5.9kg weight saving, reduces maintenance costs and increases reliability.


 
 


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