When choosing the right Pilatus PC-12 to purchase, there are a few models to consider with many different series within each model. Pilatus has done a great job of constantly improving the PC-12 throughout its years. This article is aimed to explain the improvement made on each model and series.
The four PC-12 models are as follows:
PC-12/41 – 9,039 lbs. MTOW, PT6A-67B
PC-12/45 – 9,921 lbs. MTOW, PT6A-67B
PC-12/47 –10,450 lbs. MTOW, PT6A-67B
PC-12/47E(NG) – 10,450 lbs. MTOW, PT6A-67P
A couple things to consider when purchasing a Pilatus PC-12 are cost and performance. A popular, cost efficient strategy is to purchase a “Legacy” (pre /47E) aircraft, and upgrade it with the Finnoff engine conversion STC. The Finnoff engine STC upgrades the older 67B engine to the newer 67P engine, giving you up to 15 knots faster cruise and the performance similar to a NG, including dual direct drive 300-amp generators. There are many other upgrades that Pilatus has incorporated with their different “series” throughout the years. Below is a breakdown of the progression of each series and their respective serial numbers. This does not include all changes.
Series 1 & 2(SN 101-140) 1994- 1996
- MTOW 9,039 lbs.
- PC-12 serialization which included upgrading the generator wiring, anti-ice system and Engine Instrument System. (EIS).
Series 3(SN 141-160) 1996-1997
- Known icing capability introduced.
- PC-12 gross takeoff weight increased from 9,040 lb. to 9,920 lb. Increased gross weight OPTION. (SB 04-001 3/97)
Series 4(SN 161-180) 1997
- New pilot and copilot seat with improved adjustment mechanism. (SB 25-001 9/97)
- New passenger seats certified for increased gross weight. (No SB)
Series 5(SN 181-200) 1998
- PC-12 gross takeoff weight increased from 9,040 lb. to 9,920 lb. The increased gross weight option became standard equipment after SN 181.
- Heating system improvements – ducting/insulation/temperature sensors. (SB 21-003 10/97)
- New heat ducting in cabin. (SB 21-002 2/17/98)
- New insulation on cargo door, sidewall structure and emergency door panels. (SB 25-012 3/99)
- New H.I.C. criteria – lav. And seat 5. (SB 25-003 4/7/98)
- New H.I.C. modifications to nine-passenger commuter layout. (SB 25-006 4/98)
- New cockpit O2 shutoff lever in cockpit. (SB 35001)
- New riveted static wick bases. (No SB)
- Sixty second engine start relay installed. New Engine Instrument System (EIS) software. (No SB)
Series 6(SN 201-230) 1998- 1999
- New smaller winglets. (SB 57-003 10/98)
- New clamps on engine exhaust for fire detection. (SB71-002 1/98)
- New seal on engine cowling. (No SB)
- New locks on passenger, cargo, and battery door. (SB 52-002 10/97)
- New heated windshield (heats full wind screen). (SB 30-007)
- Better insulation provided.
Series 7(SN 231-260) 1999
- New auto-start with relay installation (Pilot’s left lower panel) disconnect starter after 52% NG. (SB 80- 001 11/98)
- Heavier fabric underneath passenger seat cushions – std. seats. (No SB)
- New hydraulic system pressure container with fluid level window. (SB 29-002 8/12/97)
- Improved prop. deice timer box. (SB 30-004 9/18/96)
- New Cent. Adv. Wrng Sys. (CAWS) box – chip detector now shown during flight. (No SB)
- Overhead panel mod. – Gen 2 can only be switched on w. 21-31 volts. (SB 24-008 8/98)
- New fuel vent system in wings – hinged float instead of check valve. (SB 28-005 5/98)
Series 8(SN 261-320) 1999- 2000
- Three Seat Bench OPTION available in executive version. (SB 25-014 4/99)
- Improved distribution of O2 for Three Seat Bench OPTION. (SB 35-002 12/00)
- Ignition System improvements.
- New EIS system software. (No SB)
- New dimmer unit for landing gear cockpit lights. (SB 33-004 5/99)
- Improved engine air intake three-piece anti-ice lip. (SB 71-003 12/99)
- New cockpit and cabin insulation (bag type). (SB 25-012 Rev.1 11/00)
- New current sensor and Gen. 1 display on overhead panel. (SB 24-011 6/01)
Series 9(322-400) 2000-2001
- New cabin heating system (doubled BTU’s for cabin heating).
- Wing tip strobe lights w. increased life and accessibility. (SB 33-005 2/01)
- New exterior lighting-
- Optional Recognition Lights (SB 33-001)
- Red Beacon (SB 33-002)
- Optional Logo Lights (SB 33-003)
- New flap reset switch on CAT panel. (SB 27-006 Rev. 1 6/01)
- New heating system (change in flow characteristics). (No SB)
- Second pitot/static system providing pilot and co-pilot with totally independent pitot/ static systems with heated pitot mast and static ports. (No SB)
Series 10 (321,401-888) 2000-2008
- New EIS including Engine Condition Trend Monitoring. (STC SA 00493DE 6/03)
- Gen 1 and 2 V/A indicators. (No SB)
- New Central Advisory and Warning System (CAWS) with audio callout. (No SB)
- New Standby Power System utilizing a separate Standby Bus off the main battery to provide Pre-Flight Ground Clearance Delivery and emergency port to the #1 Nav/Com, KLN 90B GPS, audio panel and MFD.
- New overhead panel – battery V/A indicators, System switches.
- KMD-850 MFD replaces existing MFD and WX Radar Indicator options. New system has Moving Map display, EGPWS, WX radar and TCAS interface. (No SB)
- New ELT OPTION (406 MHz) utilizing satellite-based monitoring system.
- Standard SN 476 and on- Goodrich steel brakes. (SB 32-013)
- Standard SN 521and on- GPS interface is available.
- Oil Debris Monitoring System. (standard with S/N 534)
- Standard SN 540 and on- Engine accessory gearbox chip detector. (SB 79-005)
- Install guarded condition lever preventing inadvertent engine shut down. (SB 76-001 10/03)
- Standard SN 669 and on- New cabin LED lights.
- Standard SN 684 and on- All PC-12’s built as PC-12 /47 with 10,361 MTOW.
- Cockpit switch – from headset mic. to O2 mask mic. (SB 23-004 05/03)
- Dual Nav lights OPTION on wing tips and tail cone. (SB 33-009 4/03)
- Baggage compartment light. (SB 33-007 8/02)
- Since the /47 was not approved by EASA until 2006 due to sounds regulations, some aircraft were delivered as /45 variants. SN’s 684,710,723,728 and 745 can install a mod which permits them to convert their aircraft to /47’s.
- Some of the new changes to the /47’s are:
- New crew seat
- New design winglets
- New empennage dorsal fin
- New ailerons for better roll handling
- New LED Nav lights
- Gross weight increase to 4700 KG (10,362 lbs.).
NG (SN 1001-present) 2008
- Interior upgrades.
- A more powerful 67P engine.
- Dual 300-amp direct drive generators.
- Honeywell Apex Avionics.
- External LED lighting.
- SN1576 and after come standard with the drag reduction kit, which include a new 5-blade Hartzell Prop.
We hope this article will help you when deciding on the right PC-12 purchase. In addition to the upgrades Pilatus has done to the PC-12 over the years, Finnoff Aviation Products has developed STC’s including an Engine Upgrade for the legacy aircraft, a Dual Battery Kit, and an Electrical System Upgrade STC for those aircraft having the engine upgrade. Additionally, Finnoff Aviation Products participated in the development of MT Propeller’s STC for the 5 bladed propeller on the PC-12. We hold exclusive distribution rights for this prop in North and South America.