Our Fleet

take off

The RFDS has 4 different planes that are used for operations. These are the Pilatus PC-12 and PC-24 (used in SA/NT and WA), the King Air B350 C and B200 C (used in Qld, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania) and the Cessna C208 (used in Qld).

We are excited about the new Pilatus PC-24 jets that have just arrived in WA. These jets will halve the flying time over long distances of the Australian outback and we are ever grateful for the ongoing donations that have made the purchase of these aircraft possible. See below for details on each plane.

Graphic: aircraft production line

The RFDS national fleet is 71 planes strong, and is growing each year.

Here is a video that shows one of our new Flying Doctor aircraft being built on the production line and follows it all the way through to the final livery.

Graphic: Time-lapse video of a plane fit out

Every RFDS plane has to undergo an extensive fit-out after purchase, so they have the necessary medical equipment to deal with any emergency. This video gives insight into the work and cost involved in preparing each plane so that it can become part of the Flying Doctor fleet.

Pilatus PC-12

Number in RFDS Fleet

31

Maximum altitude

30,000 feet

Maximum speed

280 knots (518.56 km)

Range

2,889 km

Cabin dimensions

1.52m, Length: 4.68m, Height of 1.45m

How our Pilatus PC–12 is set-up

The Pilatus PC-12 is a good all-rounder in terms of capacity, amenity, speed, range and performance, making it perfect for the Royal Flying Doctor operational activities.

Custom Cabin - The cabin is set up with 2 stretcher beds and three seats, which can be used in a variety of configurations. The front door allows the pilot to conduct his pre-flight external inspections and enter the plane without disturbing the patients and medical crew in the rear.

Cockpit – The cockpit is configured for single-pilot operations in all weather conditions, day and night. Instrumentation includes state of the art Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning and aircraft Advisory Systems Navigation systems including Global Positioning System and the standard equipment to display data from ground-based navigational aids.

Staff - A Flight Nurse is usually on every flight and in cases where the patient is seriously ill, a Doctor is also present. Other passengers can include sitting patients, accompanying relatives or specialist medical staff.

Engine - The aircraft is powered by a single Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-67B Turbo-prop engine.

King Air B300 C

Number in RFDS Fleet

2

Maximum altitude

35,000

Maximum speed

305 knots (564 kph)

Range

3,000 km

Cabin dimensions

Width: 1.38m, Length: 7.56m, Height of 1.46m

King Air B200 and B200 C

Number in RFDS Fleet

30

Maximum altitude

35,000 feet

Maximum speed

278 knots (536 km)

Range

2,700 km

Cabin dimensions

Width: 1.38m, Length: 6.7m, Height of 1.46m

How our King Airs are set-up

The King Air B200 C is a continuation of the King Air line, which began in the 1970's and has a long proven history as an aircraft. It is a twin-turbo propeller plane produced by Beechcraft. We also have King Air B200 and King Air 350 aircraft.

Custom Cabin - The cabin is set up with 2 stretcher beds and three seats, which can be used in a variety of configurations. The aircraft has been modified to replace the standard passenger door with a large cargo door to facilitate patient loading and unloading.

Cockpit – The standard aircraft installation allows for 2 pilot staff, however most operators, including the RFDS typically operate the aircraft in single pilot configuration. In addition to the normal aircraft systems, the aircraft is fitted with an additional battery to provide medical power, a medical oxygen and suction system, and an intercommunication system between the cockpit and the medical staff in the cabin.

Staff - A Flight Nurse is usually on every flight and in cases where the patient is seriously ill, a Doctor is also present. Other passengers can include sitting patients, accompanying relatives or specialist medical staff.

Engine - The aircraft is powered by two Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-42 Turbo-prop engines.

Cessna C208

Number in RFDS Fleet

2

Maximum altitude

25,000 feet

Maximum speed

186 knots (338km)

Range

1,071km

Cabin dimensions

*Width: 1.63m, Length: 3.88m, Height of 1.37m

How our Cessna C208 is set-up

There are two Cessna C208's in the RFDS fleet and these operate out of Cairns in Queensland. They were introduced for transporting our Primary Health Care staff to rural and remote communities of the Cape York region, allowing us to deliver a greater diversity of Primary Health Care services to these communities.

Cabin – With the capacity to transport 8 people, the Cessna Caravan makes transporting teams of clinicians and specialists easy.

Cockpit – The Cessna Caravan uses the integrated Garmin G10000 avionics suite.

Engine – The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A is a single turboprop engine.

Pilatus PC–24

Number in RFDS Fleet

2

Maximum altitude

45,000 feet

Maximum speed

787 km per hour

Range

3,610 km

Cabin dimensions

1.69m, Length: 7m, Height of 1.55m

How our Pilatus PC–24 a set up

Our new Pilatus PC-24 aero medical aircraft are the first of its kind in Australia and around the world. These ‘emergency wards’ in our skies have the capacity for three stretchered patients and two medical teams consisting of four doctors and nurses.

These jets have the capability of landing and taking off on unsealed runways as short as 800m and can halve existing flight times and travel longer distances. Based in Jandakot and Broome in WA, the addition of these two jets will boost the overall fleet capacity for response times within all regions. Read more here