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The Pilatus PC-12 has become the standard in 9-seat turboprops for private users and commuter airlines alike, and is by far the most popular aircraft on Essential Air Service (EAS) routes in the United States. Seeing a need to bridge the gap between private jets and commuter airliners which were unable to get into smaller airports with runways around 2,000 feet in length with something more efficient than a twin engine aircraft like a King Air, Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus announced the PC-12 in 1989. By this time, the aircraft had already been under design for some time, and the first prototype flew in 1991. After the first 2 prototypes were tested, Pilatus decided to make modifications to the winglets which delayed the first deliveries to 1994, with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia being the first to operate the type commercially. In the 1990s, airlines were quite happy flying 19 to 30 seat commuter airliners into tiny US airports with plenty of empty seats so long as they went out with a few fares, so there wasn't much desire for an aircraft like the Pilatus. Thus, for years, the aircraft almost exclusively sold to private, military, and utility/ambulance operators who utilized it's short take off and landing performance (STOL) with 6-9 passengers and a fair amount of luggage. In 1996, a version with an increased take off weight marketed as the PC-45 was introduced. By the late 1990s, most commuter airlines in North America and Europe had phased out their 19-seat commuter aircraft at the whim of their major airline affiliates in the name of passenger comfort to replace them with 30+ seat modern aircraft like the Saab 340, DHC-8-100/200, and EMB-120 Brasilia. For a time, these aircraft continued servicing tiny communities with much extra seating capacity, but this practice changed after demand for air travel diminished in the years after 9/11 followed by a major spike in aviation fuel prices by the late 2000s, and many of the cities were entirely abandoned by airlines. To keep these cities connected to the world for purposes of business, EAS grants were given to many cities that were usually at least a 2-3 hour drive from an airport with decent airline service. The grants acted as an incentive for the city to host a bid for air service and provide the winning air carrier with supplemental money to ensure that carrier turned a profit on the route regardless of ticket sales, which in turn ensured the city did not lose it's air link. US carriers like Seaport Airlines, Advanced Air and Boutique Air found the PC-12 to be the right size for the right price, and the type became very popular on EAS routes. Not long after, private membership air taxi services like Surf Air saw the potential for using these aircraft for scheduled flights between satellite airports in major metropolitans for those wishing to avoid the hassles of airport security, parking, and traffic. A 2008 upgrade, known commonly as the PC-12NG, was made with all new modern glass cockpit avionics, and that type is the standard for most commercial operators today. More than 1,700 PC-12s have been produced to date, flying with airlines, private operators, militaries, and medevac companies all over the world.

The following high quality add-ons are available for this aircraft:

Carenado PC-12: X-Plane, Prepar3Dv1-5/Microsoft Flight Simulator X