The PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop-powered business aircraft, designed for performing multiple roles and to deliver performance and safety equal to twin-engine aircraft.
The PC-12 has exceptional versatility and is capable of operating within the most rugged environments. It is one of the few pressurized turbine-powered aircraft capable of operating from rough landing strips. A trailing arm landing gear allow access to airfields inaccessible to many jet aircraft.
The PC-12 incorporates numerous safety measures. The PT6A-67 engine has a reputation for considerable reliability, a factor that has reportedly been decisive to some prospective operators. To counteract stall and spin conditions, dual angle-of-attack sensors near the wingtips force the stick forwards in advance of a potential stall. For greater redundancy, the PC-12 has a complete split-bus dual electrical system similar to modern jet aircraft, in addition to two separate batteries and a third emergency battery.
In addition to its uses as a passenger transport and private aircraft, the PC-12 can be configured as a multi-mission platform, such as an air ambulance or for conducting surveillance aircraft missions.
Early sales of the PC-12 principally went to utility operators. In 2003, US charter airline Tradewind Aviation started operating the PC-12, which has now grown into one of the country's largest operators of the type, with 22 aircraft. By October 2019, the PC-12 fleet surpassed 1,700 aircraft, with more than seven million total flight hours.
The PC-12 is Pilatus' first aircraft directed principally at the civil market, despite the company historically being a military-oriented supplier. The U-28A is the United States Air Force variant of the PC-12 for intra-theater support of special operations forces performing the role of Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).