(Stans, March 8, 2007) -- While making its first transatlantic journey from Switzerland, the prototype Next Generation PC-12 stopped at Iqaluit, Canada for a series of cold weather trials, before arriving at Pilatus' North American headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado.
"The entire transatlantic flight was great. All systems operated perfectly and the aircraft completed its cold weather testing a day early. During the cold weather trials in Canada, the new systems performed exceptionally well and without any problems. The new avionics and the displays in particular exceeded all our expectations while experiencing extreme cold temperatures down to temperatures of -10 oF and less", said Ulli Gehling, Director Program Management.
Iqaluit, the regional capital of the Canadian Inuit province of Nunavut, is an ideal test location due to its very low temperatures, an 8,600 foot runway and lack of airspace restrictions. The airport was operated by the US Air Force until 1963 and today is the regional airport.
The cold weather trials demonstrated the new systems behavior under extreme cold temperatures. The tests evaluated the performance of the electrical system, battery power for engine start up, avionics system start up, and displays, and verified their operation throughout the entire environmental envelope.
Slated for certification at the end of 2007, the Next Generation PC-12 features a number of improvements, including a fully integrated Honeywell Primus Apex avionics system, a new cockpit designed by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, and a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engine. The aircraft is on track for certification at the end of this year.