June 9, 2010

Computing Pilatus PC-12 NG capabilty and economics

    Cockpit Dashboard

    In my earlier post, I talked much about Southwest Airlines, however, assuming and hypothetically speaking, if I wanted to own a small regional carrier; Trojan Air.  Trojan Air's preferred choice of aircraft will be  the known propelled single engine aircraft; Pilatus PC-12 NG aircraft. 

    A little background on this aircraft; 
    • It can be flown by one or two pilots (commercial operations). 
    • The aircraft has a standard seating capacity of 8 passenger, or 6 executive style seat option. 
    • Aircraft can be used for different operations; Personal, Commercial Ops (logistics support, etc) Medical, Reconnaissance, etc better yet it can be suited for a luxury type environment. 

Photos courtesy of the Pilatus Aircraft Company. Please these pictures shown above are not in anyway mine, photo credits to the The Pilatus Aircraft Company.

Max cruise speed
280 ktas (322 mph) 
519 km/hr TAS 
Max range (3 Pax, 30,000 ft, NBAA IFR reserve)
1,560 nm / 1,795 sm 
  2,889 km 
 Max operating altitude
30,000 ft 
9,144 m 
 Cabin altitude at 26,000 ft
8,000 ft 
2,438 m 
 Takeoff distance over 50 ft obstacle
2,650 ft 
808 m 
 Rate of climb (MTOW) 
1,920 ft / min 
    585 m / min 
 Landing distance over 50 ft obstacle (MLW/reverse)
1,830 ft 
558 m 
 Stall (MTOW)
67 kts IAS 
124 km/h IAS 

 Max ramp weight
10,495 lbs 
 4,760 kg
 Max takeoff weight
10,450 lbs 
 4,740 kg
 Max landing weight
9,921 lbs 
 4,500 kg
 Max zero fuel weight
9,039 lbs 
 4,100 kg
 Basic operating weight (includes 200 lb / 91 kg pilot)
6,782 lbs 
 3,076 kg
 Usable fuel (402 gal)
2,704 lbs 
 1,226 kg
 Payload with full fuel (and 200 lb / 91 kg pilot)
1,009 lbs 
 458 kg

 For more information, please visit http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/

In the U.S., Sea Port Airlines, a small regional Part 121 FAA certified airline currently uses the Pilatus PC-12 NG for its commercial scheduled operations. Their goal, is to serve the "niche" market; unserviced airports within the the Portland, Oregon region. It serves as a feeder airline to other regional carriers as well as major operators.

Due to weight and distance factors, experts recommend in general that small propelled jet aircraft be flown on a short distance no more than 300nm from it start origination point. In other words, weight of the aircraft should be compensated for distance and as vice versa.

For instance, a flight from KBWI (Baltimore Washington International) to KLGA (LaGuardia International) is less than 200 nautical miles, therefore, it's fair to assume the aircraft can comfortably take up to 8pax at max takeoff weight.

However, the further the aircraft travels out for instance up to 500 nm, the aircraft will carry one or two passenger less, same would apply if the distance increases up to1,000 nm, there's a probability that the aircraft will carry 4pax max; the weight compensates for the distance.

The idea is the more pax you carry, the less fuel you carry, the less distance you travel; the less pax you carry, the more fuel you carry, the more distance you travel.
Note: The following abbreviations (Pax  is referred to passengers), and (Miles are Nautical miles)

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