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Mastering the Fourth Dimension with Pilatus Autothrottles by IS&S ThrustSense

Oct 23, 2018, 13:56 PM By: Chris Arnett
Precision flying through space and time with IS&S ThrustSense™ Autothrottle.


Airspace Modernization is happening. With today’s technology, your aircraft’s self-awareness is far superior to calculations by antiquated ground-based tracking systems of yesteryear. Expansion of LPV approaches is further enhancing the versatility of the most versatile single in the world, the PC-12, by providing safe access to the more remote airports which are so natural for it.

WAAS GPS precision in the lateral plane has been well appreciated for some time. We have come to rely on it in our cars for years now. Precision in the vertical plane is becoming a coveted enhancement for those seeking asylum from bustling hubs, or liking an ace up the sleeve in popular cities where the crowds are still reliant on ILS.

Enhancements to precision navigation equipment combined with real-time traffic and weather data have allowed you to become a true master of the three dimensions; but with every evolution comes a new expectation. Being a master of space will not be good enough. Mastering the fourth dimension of time is now yours for the taking.

Have you been feeling left out?

Autothrottles are not a new concept. The first primitive systems were put into service in the 1950’s. While applications of autothrottle have expanded solidly into larger business jets, they have remained elusive for smaller business and general aviation platforms, especially those without FADEC engine control. That is unfortunate given single-pilot operations can place compounding pressures of congested skies, unpredictable weather and rapidly changing clearances in an aircraft capable of some pretty impressive performance. Add to that the fact we are never immune to an unruly realm of human factors.

Enter IS&S’s ThrustSense™ Autothrottle for the PC-12. You don’t need a new plane or a new flight deck or a new FADEC-equipped engine to start putting your plane at X/Y/Z exactly when you (or ATC) want it there. The tool to master the fourth dimension comes with some additional benefits beyond precise plane placement. The system safeguards the aircraft from over and under speed as well as protects the engine from over torque and over temperature conditions at all times.


In addition to having your back with operating envelopes, ThrustSense™ computes and controls appropriate power levels and features an automatic take-off and go-around mode that smoothly brings the engine to max power. Additional modes include both torque hold and airspeed hold modes, where you select the desired torque or desired airspeed. When engaged, no additional force is required to override the power control lever.

How it looks

The system’s simplicity is made possible by an elegantly handy display. The Integrated Standby Unit (ISU) is not only the pilot’s interface for mode speed and torque selections, it also serves as a small standby EFIS system.

The Integrated Standby Unit (ISU) is the brains behind the brawn of the Power Control Lever Actuator Assembly, which physically moves the original PLC via a stepper motor and linear actuator.

Click below to see how a Pilatus flight profile is changed.

Click below to see the panels.




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