Has the emergence of the single engine turbo prop plane improved our flying options?

Has the emergence of the single-engine turboprop plane improved our flying options? What are the benefits of single-engine turboprop planes? Are single-engine aircrafts safe? Is private air travel accessible? Are single-engine turboprop planes cheap to run? Why should i choose a single-engine turboprop plane? What are the alternatives to low cost commercial flights? Is the private hire of an aircraft cost effective? 

Once upon a time, private air travel was considered the crème de la crème of luxury however, hiring your own aircraft can be far more cost efficient and simplistic than you may think. There are more options in air travel now than ever before, and it is the emergence of planes like the single engine turboprop that has made private flying accessible and, in many cases, a sensible travel option. 

The Pilatus PC-12 has for several years been the world’s best-selling single-engine turboprop plane and has an outstanding reputation for its reliability and performance. As a single engine aircraft, the PC-12 may be considered to be less safe in comparison to a twin-engine aircraft. However, the aim in its manufacturing is to match the safety and flying performance of a twin-engine, while maintaining the efficiency and low running costs of a single-engine aircraft. Because there is only one engine to run, the costs of fuel and oil are economical, and the Pilatus PC-12 specifically can perform to the same standard while consuming just over half the fuel required for an equivalent twin engine aircraft.

In addition, the Pilatus PC-12 is licensed to be flown by only one pilot, making it a far more accessible and economic option to potential fliers. This fact is indicative of the overall simplicity of the single-engine turboprop plane, which also features fewer controls than larger and more complex aircraft, as well as simpler electrical and fuel systems for a seamless flying experience.

You may be concerned about the single engine and how safe this is, however total engine failures in a single-engine turboprop plane are an incredibly rare occurrence, and the Pilatus PC-12 uses a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine, often considered to be one of the best and most reliable of its type in the world. The key to safe flying is relying on careful planning and the proficiency of your pilot, and it is less likely that the aircraft itself would be the cause of any problems. 

The emergence of the single-engine turboprop plane has most certainly improved our flying options, offering private air travel that is economical, efficient and easier than one may think. The Pilatus PC-12 has been described as having ‘the benefit[s] of a luxury jet with the capabilities of a true workhorse’, which summarises what you get from a single-engine turboprop aircraft perfectly; a flying experience where only what is needed is paid for, without compromising safety, efficiency or comfort.

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Will Graham

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I graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc Hons in Mathematics & Statistics. Since leaving university I have become Founder and Director of FlexiFly.co.uk.

While studying I played an active role in the family nursing home business, The Graham Care Group, and have continued as a Graduate Trainee alongside my work with FlexiFly, being involved with all areas of the business.

For some years I have been actively involved in international motorsport and achieved numerous awards as co-driver to a European Rally Champion (my dad!). It was these experiences of weekends in Europe that partly inspired us about how we could make air travel more flexible and convenient. The calibre of competitors we met on events have given us insight into the potential our alternative to traditional aircraft charter has.


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