EBACE Convention News

375 Upgrades For Blackhawk, And Still Counting

 - May 14, 2012, 7:30 PM

Blackhawk (Stand 483) has signed a deal for its 375th aircraft performance-improvement upgrade, as a consequence making the Waco, Texas-based company one of the largest non-OEM buyers of new Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) turboprop engines in the world.

The EBACE show contract signing was for an XP61 upgrade package for South Coast Air Charter, for a King Air 200. Blackhawk’s partner in the UK, MCA Aviation of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, will install two new PWC PT6A-61 engines in the aircraft, each rated at 850.

Customers receive prepaid enrollment in Camp Systems’ aircraft maintenance tracking program and The Trend Group’s turbine trend analysis program. The performance advantages of the XP61 upgrade include an improved rate of climb with lower fuel consumption, a higher single-engine service ceiling and an increase in true airspeed.

Blackhawk also signed a contract with Aerodynamics of Douglas, Isle of Man, for its XP42A Cessna Grand Caravan upgrade. The XP42A features an 850-shp PWC PT6A-42A engine and a 1,000-hour, no-calendar-limit PWC warranty. The system also includes a wide-chord, 100-inch-diameter Hartzell four-blade propeller; composite cowling and high-efficiency inlet duct; a 40 percent larger oil cooler; four-point engine mount ring assembly; engine mount isolators; engine hose kit; Blackhawk Hawkeye DigiLog engine gauges; and Frakes exhaust stacks.

“Overhaul shops certainly sharpen their pencils when they hear that an owner is interested in one of our upgrades but, really, how can they compete?”said Jim Allmon, Blackhawk’s president and CEO. “Our engines are new, and when the conversion is complete, the owner has an aircraft with much improved performance capability. The XP42A Grand Caravan conversion changes the mission profile of the aircraft completely. It shortens climb to altitude by 50 percent, increases mtow by 300 pounds and true airspeed by nearly 30 knots. The aircraft’s takeoff run is 40 percent shorter. Imagine what you can do!”

The company has sold 16 conversions since October 2011, according to Allmon, nine of them going to skydiving operations. “Skydiving operations are finding that they can increase their business by nearly 25 percent because they can fly more loads. That time-to-climb reduction is really paying off for them,” said Allmon.

Blackhawk provides a 3,600-hour TBO or 5,000-hour TBO (for qualified operators) with a qualified trend monitoring program. Documentation includes a flight manual supplement with full flight test-certified performance and maintenance manuals. In addition, Blackhawk offers full technical support for the life of the aircraft.