The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop passenger and cargo aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The main market for the aircraft is corporate transport and regional airliner operators.
Most PC-12s are used as corporate transports, but recent regulatory changes in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the United States have cleared single engine turboprops such as the PC-12 for regional passenger transport operations in those countries. This opens a new market for the PC-12 as a regional airliner that would replace older twin piston-engined aircraft.
Pilatus announced the development of the PC-12 at the annual convention of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in October 1989. The first flight of the first of two prototypes took place on May 31, 1991. Certification of the type was originally planned for mid-1991 but a redesign of the wings (increase of wing span and addition of winglets to ensure performance guarantees were met) delayed this. Swiss certification finally took place on March 30, 1994, and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval followed on July 15, 1994.
As with many other Pilatus aircraft, the PC-12 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine (the PT6A-67B). It is certified for single-pilot IFR operations, though operators may choose to utilize a second flight crew member. Pilatus offers the PC-12 in a standard nine-seat airliner form, in a four-passenger seat/freight Combi version, and as a six-seat corporate transport with an option for a seven-seat by adding a three-seat bench in place of seats five and six. A pure freighter model is under consideration.