Blackhawk Aerospace said it reached a total of 1,000 XP Engine+ upgrades sold since the company’s beginnings in 1999. Blackhawk said its upgrades are designed to “increase the performance, speed, usability and reliability of high-performance turboprop aircraft for a lower cost than buying new.”
BLACKHAWK UPGRADES have been applied to Caravan, Cheyenne, Conquest and King Airs, all featuring factory-new Pratt & Whitney Canada-made engines with extended time between overhauls (TBO).
“Reaching the 1,000th Engine+ Upgrade customer is something we never could have dreamed of back at our start in 1999,” Blackhawk CEO Jim Allmon said. “I continue to be blown away by our incredible team, our loyal customers and our dedicated industry partners, all of whom Blackhawk could not exist without. One-thousand upgraded aircraft is a monumental accomplishment, but still only the beginning.”
Blackhawk has changed dramatically over the past two years, moving from one company to four. It now operates divisions focusing on engine and propeller upgrades, technologies for avionics upgrades and aircraft maintenance, composites, and solutions, including military and special-mission use.
The company offers the opportunity to exchange timex Pratt & Whitney PT6A engines on King Airs and replace them with engines with more horsepower to increase aircraft performance.
Blackhawk has performed a deep market assessment to select the next project, the Pilatus PC-12, replacing their original engines with the PT6A engine and adding new propellers—most likely a Hartzell propeller—and Garmin’s digital information systems, Allmon says. The PC-12 market is starting to age, with many approaching their first or second required overhauls. More than 600 legacy PC-12s are in service. Via supplemental type certificate (STC), Blackhawk’s PC-12 XP67P Engine+ upgrade replaces the turboprop single’s stock Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67B engine with the higher-thermally-rated PT6A-67P model.
Flight testing of a PC-12 with the new engine is expected to start late in the first quarter of next year. The XP67P upgrade includes a new PT6A-67P engine but retains the PC-12’s original Hartzell four-blade aluminium propeller. Blackhawk plans to certify additional propeller options in the future.
With 1,700 aircraft in service, the PC-12 is the second best-selling turboprop single, behind the Cessna Caravan. For more than 600 of the PC-12s eligible for the XP67P upgrade, many of which are at or close to overhaul, it is an optimum opportunity to install an engine upgrade, according to Blackhawk. Operators upgrading before TBO expiration will receive an engine core credit of $95 per hour for any engine time remaining.
Featuring improved metallurgy, the XP67P engine allows for a higher internal turbine temperature (ITT) limitation of 850 degrees C versus the stock -67B’s 800-deg C limitation on takeoff. Maximum continuous ITT for climb and cruise is 760 deg C for the -67B and 820 degrees C for the XP67P.
The PT6A-67P is a 1,200-shp engine that produces 142 more thermodynamic horsepower than the stock PT6A-67B, and the higher ITT and thermo produced by the -67P engine enables operators to use full torque to more efficient cruising altitudes. A stock -67B engine starts losing power at 13,000 feet, but the XP67P can maintain full power to 23,000 feet.
“Building upon the success of our existing Caravan engine upgrades, adding the Pilatus PC-12 platform to our growing list of STCs was a natural evolution for the aftermarket engine upgrade business that Blackhawk was built on,” said Blackhawk president and CEO Jim Allmon. “We look forward to welcoming PC-12 owners and operators into the Blackhawk family.”
Blackhawk celebrates its 1000th engine upgrade.