Most Sold Aircraft in 2022: Pilatus PC-12

Aircraft manufacturer Pilatus Aircraft has full order books. Not particularly surprising, since flying in a private jet is currently enjoying great popularity. Across the industry, the number of business jets delivered increased by 10 per cent to 710 last year. One aircraft is especially popular among the clientele: The Pilatus PC-12, manufactured since 1991 in Stans, Switzerland, is the world’s best-selling single-engine turboprop aircraft in its class. For three decades, the Pilatus PC-12 has amazed the single-pilot turboprop market. At the end of April 2021, the 1800th PC-12 was delivered. Pilatus took delivery of a total of 152 aircraft last year, with the propeller-driven turboprop PC-12 remaining by far the company’s best-selling product with 88 units.

Once again, the highly sought-after business aircraft takes the gold: Pilatus Aircraft delivered 34 PC-12 NGX single-engine turboprops during the first six months of 2022, making it the top delivered business aircraft of the period. With a high backlog, Pilatus Aircraft expects to deliver 90 PC-12NGX in 2022. This would even surpass last year’s strong performance. The versatile PC-12 NGX performs many roles worldwide, including executive transport, commuter, medevac, police and border surveillance, cargo transport, military liaison, and regional airliner.

The NGX is powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6E-67XP engine, the first integrated dual-channel electronic propeller and engine control system in a general aviation turboprop aircraft. With more than 425 million flying hours, the engine is considered the most reliable aircraft engine ever built. In addition to the higher cruise speeds, reduced cabin noise and reduced operating costs made possible by the new PT6 E-Series engine, the NGX features an all-new interior, larger cabin windows and a digital autothrottle that reduces pilot workload and improves engine efficiency and longevity. Beyond that, the interior cabin of the Pilatus PC-12 NGX was designed in conjunction with BMW’s Designworks division and features materials one would expect to find in a high-end luxury car. The new executive seats on the PC-12 NGX are fully reclining, have a higher backrest and even more headroom.

The PC-12 even outperforms twin-engine turboprops, by using only 65 percent of its actual power. This means that the engine is never exposed to the loads and temperatures that correspond to its actual construction. This massively reduces maintenance costs, which enables very cost-effective operation. The so-called single-pilot certification of the PC-12, which makes it possible to fly with only one pilot, further reduces operating costs. This is made possible by the modern cockpit equipment. However, the aircraft is also equipped with a co-pilot seat, which also enables multi-pilot operation.

Moreover, the business airplane is now also certified for sustainable fuel. By far the best way to reduce emissions is to use less fuel in general. For this reason, operators of large jets could operate most of their flights with a PC-12 and use up to 75 per cent less fuel. Furthermore, the stable value of the aircraft also provides good arguments for a purchase. Compared to similar business aircraft, the Pilatus PC-12 retains 80 to 85 percent of its original value after ten years of use and sells 40 per cent faster than other pre-owned business planes.