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When I went to work for my current company I was a little skeptical of the Pilatus. I've flown King Air 90 & 200's for close to a 1000 hrs, this company has 1-200 and 2-pc12's . I have now flown the PC12 for about 250 hrs, I'm at the point where I'd rather be sent out in the Pilatus. Granted our 200 is a straight 200 with not much avionics. The cockpit from a pilots perspective: it's roomy, there's chart pockets on both sides, so you have plenty of elbow room. theres a little more leg room in the king air, but the pilatus isnt so short that it's a problem. It's nice to be able to get to the cockpit without having to stumble all over the pax, especially when they are on the sofa in the king air. Pax like the room of the Pilatus, the cabin is a little wider. The cargo door is great when you have to load a ton bags. The pressurization, heating and cooling come from an Air Cycle Machine, works just like the one in the Beechjet or G200(those are the 2 i'm familiar with). There is also an electric vapor cycle A/C system as well as an electric heat system. Plug in a GPU and they work great. The trailing link landing gear makes you look like a champ. The big tires and gear absorb so much, sometimes you barely know you touched. The Pilatus gets in and out of some really short places. Give it flaps 40 and stay on the AOA and it gets slow. The other benefit is range, full fuel 2700 lbs. and it doesn't run out of fuel for about 7 1/2 hrs. FL280 I usaully see about 310 lbs. fuel flow for about 245 TAS. I get about 260 at FL200 you just burn a little more fuel. 1500lbs fuel and I can fill the seats(we're configured for 6 in the back) and have about 4 hrs range depending on altitude. At first the single engine bothered me a little, but it has a 2.7/1 glide. At FL250 i can glide close to 70 miles at 114 KIAS. 1000 AGL and I can make a 180. Test pilots say 700 AGL, but I'm not a test pilot. We operate single pilot so customers that say they won't get on one because it only has one engine, I just smile and think to myself, "I only have one ticker, 4 engines won't make a difference if IT goes." but I don't argue one way or another. All in all it's a great airplane, it can't do everything a King Air can, but some things it does better and more efficient. Given my drathers, I'd rather be back at my cushy part 91 gig in the jets at 410 above the weather. But you do what have to.
Nice write up, jetpilot. I agree with everything you wrote. I miss some things about that airplane for sure. I am starting to appreciate all of the things the P.180 does so well, but I sure do miss the cockpit room of the PC-12.
I DO NOT miss the endurance of the Pilatus, however. :crying:
I've been out of the PC-12 for almost 5 years now and everytime I see one I get a little nostalgic. Having gone from the PC12 into jets, I truly appreciate the capabilities of the Pilatus. Every system in the airplane makes sense, everything is logically located in the cockpit and my understanding is the newer series' are that much better. Go figure, a manufacturer that actually IMPROVES the original design, not just stuffs more crap in the empty spaces up front and calls it "new!" Jetpilot hit the rest of the details ON THE HEAD!!!