• Review: Carenado - PC12 for X-Plane 11

    Pilatus PC-12

    Publisher: Carenado

    Review Author:
    Rohan Nair

    Suggested Price:
    $34.95

    Buy Here

    Fact: Versatility is now considered a de facto trait of human character. There is no doubt that one has to be versatile in these dynamic and challenging times in order to get through the epic known as life. This requirement, as we increasingly rely on technological platforms for our sustenance, applies no less to utility aircraft as it does to human life. Pilatus, a now nearly 80 year old Swiss aircraft manufacturer, seem to have understood and adapted the aforementioned requirement into their production lines. The result of this is the Pilatus PC-12. A single engine turboprop aircraft that is fast, reliable, modern, capable of operating from unpaved surfaces, capable of short takeoffs and landings, and carrying an appreciable amount of passengers or cargo for its size. The powerful and reliable Pratt and Whitney PT6A-67 engine that powers the PC-12 allows for excellent performance in hot and high climates. The versatile nature of the PC-12 means it has found a niche in corporate passenger transport, cargo transport, outback operations, medical flight services, and even in militaries for applications like aerial surveillance.

    Carenado - Pilatus PC-12 for X-Plane 11

    The first PC-12 flew in 1991 and since then Pilatus have made over 1,500 of them. The PC-12 has undergone a number of improvements over the years. The model has evolved to feature a higher MTOW, more powerful engines, modern avionics, reduced noise, four blade propellers and speed and range improvements. The latest version is the PC-12NG which features increased cruise speed and climb performance owing to the new powerful PT6A-67P engine. The NG also sports a Honeywell Primus Apex glass cockpit, automatic pressurisation control and enhanced winglets. A variant of the NG known as the PC-12M, where M stands for multipurpose, features more powerful electrical systems to ensure ample availability of power for applications such as aerial surveillance, medical systems and the like.

    A proven, time tested, robust and capable aircraft like the PC-12 really needs a place in the flight simulation world. It has one in X-Plane 11 thanks to the well known developers, Carenado. Will their rendition of the PC-12 live up to the expectations that we have for them in recent times? Read on to find out.

    Carenado - Pilatus PC-12 for X-Plane 11     Carenado - Pilatus PC-12 for X-Plane 11

    USD $34.95 and a 602 MB download stand in your way of getting the Carenado PC-12 onto your system from the FS Pilot Shop. If you're used to installers then break that habit because you'll have to manually drop a folder into the aircraft directory of X-Plane 11 if you want to fly the PC-12. Do this, and the PC-12 awaits you in X-Plane 11 in eight liveries. Carenado say that you'll need a 3.5 GHz i5-6600K or better, 16-24 GB of RAM and a DX12 capable graphics card with 4GB or more of VRAM that parallels or overtakes a GTX 1070 to get the best of their product. Thankfully, these aren't the minimum system requirements. If you can X-Plane 11 on your PC, you can run the Carenado PC-12 as well in theory at least. I did the review on a 3.6 GHz 4th generation i7 with 16GB of RAM and a 4GB GTX 960M running a 64 bit Windows 10 OS with X-Plane 11.11r2.

    Are you wondering what variant of the PC-12 have Carenado simulated? It's not the PC-12NG. It's not the PC-12/47. It's the PC-12/45. The 45 is the second variant of the PC-12 first produced in 1996 and features an EFIS as opposed to the round dial gauges of the original variant, the 41. It also sports a higher MTOW of about 9,900 lbs. Oddly, Carenado haven't mentioned anywhere that this is the variant they have simulated. A little digging around in the aircraft configuration file revealed that some components may have been made by Thranda Design with whom Carenado have worked with in some of their other projects. The X-Plane 11 aircraft selection menu also states the design studio of the PC-12 as Carenado/Thranda Design. Before we proceed, please bear in mind that the latest version of the PC-12 at time of writing this is v1.2.

    Carenado - Pilatus PC-12 for X-Plane 11     Carenado - Pilatus PC-12 for X-Plane 11

    The first impression an add-on makes in the sim is an important one. More often than not, we go by looks in this respect. It's a natural tendency to judge based on looks. This tendency is aptly, yet somewhat subtly, outlined in the idiom: "Don't judge a book by its cover". Do pay heed to that bit of advice in most walks of life but don't feel any shame in not paying heed to it with regards to the Carenado PC-12. I say so because it feels good to start on a positive note. The PC-12 is visually impressive on the inside and outside. You'll probably spend most of your time in the virtual cockpit so let's head in and take a look.


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