Pilatus PC-12NG: Buyer’s and Investor’s Guide

CJI Team

Pros

The most versatile aircraft on the market. Well built and competitively priced for its capabilities.

Cons

Not the aircraft to buy for pure luxury. The cabin is not as luxurioys as competitors.


The PC-12NG is the latest update of Pilatus’ popular turboprop aircraft, and it is the Swiss army knife of aircraft. If versatility is what you are looking for, the PC-12NG is the aircraft to get. The ability to operate from almost any runway surface as well as the performance to match light jets make it a very competent aircraft.

Flying

A range of 2,123mi/4,316km/1,845nm allows the PC-12NG to fly from Los Angeles to New York with a quick fuel stop – an impressive achievement for a turboprop. The PC-12NG can also fly further than competitors such as the Cessna Denali, Cessna Caravan and Beechcraft’s King Air 350i – making it a performance standout.

A maximum cruise speed of 328mph/528kph/0.4Mach puts the PC12-NG at the top of the market for speed, allowing the aircraft to fly from Teterboro to Miami in just over three hours. Although it’s outperformed by some light jets, they are more expensive to operate and run which gives the PC-12NG the advantage in terms of cost of ownership.

The PC-12NG is able to operate from grass strips, gravel and unimproved fields, and is licenced to fly into known icy conditions. This allows it to be used in more challenging conditions all around the world – and makes it able to get closer to passengers’ destinations. Its versatility and ability to fly missions to the most remote fields, which traditional jets are not able to use, makes the PC-12NG stand out in the market.

The PC-12NG is able to operate from almost any terrain.
The PC-12NG is able to operate from almost any terrain.

Travelling

A cabin width of 5ft and a height of 4ft 10in makes the PC-12NG slightly smaller than the competition, limited mostly by its width.

The cabin is available in numerous configurations, ranging from a six-seat “executive” layout to a commuter configuration for up to nine passengers – all constructed by BMW Designworks USA.

Cabin features include a refreshment centre, a fully flat floor, accessible luggage inflight, as well as a pressurised cabin to 8,000ft to increase passenger comfort.

The BMW Designworks USA interior features European leathers and rare hardwood cabinetry.
The BMW Designworks USA interior features European leathers and rare hardwood cabinetry.

The cabin is more functional than luxurious, which is to be expected from such a rugged aircraft. It does not match the same interior quality as business jets that are built for more standard missions, but that hasn’t put off buyers.

Owning

List price for a new PC-12NG is $4.05 million, however Pilatus says that a typically equipped executive version will cost around $4.8 million.

The PC-12 platform has already proven itself to be one of the most popular turboprops, with more than 1,400 PC-12s flying today. It is no surprise that the NG variant has carried on this success, most notably with an order from Surf Air for up to 65 PC-12NGs.

The 2016 NG aircraft features a new five-blade propeller, which reduces cabin noise and improves take-off performance. Updated avionics and aerodynamic updates are also part of the updated aircraft.

Pilatus offers 24/7 customer support – not uncommon for an OEM but a reassuring feature for owners. This should not be needed often, though, as the PC-12NG is built to last. The new propeller is certified for an unlimited lifespan, as well as being easily reparable in the field. The P&W PT6A-67P engine has a 3,500hr overhaul interval – further reducing operating and maintenance costs.

The PC-12 has been one of the best aircraft at retaining values. But, Pilatus has sold many of its new PC-24 aircraft to existing PC-12 owners. When deliveries of the jet start, values of PC-12s may be hit.


Hard facts

Maximum range: 2,123mi/4,316km/1,845nm
Maximum speed: 328mph/528kph/0.4Mach
Typical passengers: 6
Typical crew: 1
Competition: Cessna Denali, Cessna Caravan, Avanti EVO, King Air 350i, Phenom 100E, Citation Mustang, Citation M2
List price: $4.05 million
Price for pre-owned aircraft: $3.45 – $3.65 million


 

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