Blackhawk Modifications of Waco, Texas, is in Atlanta this week to announce its latest engine power upgrade for the Beech King Air 200, the Dash 61 STC program featuring factory-new 850-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-61 turboshafts with a higher thermodynamic horsepower rating in place of the original PT6A-42 powerplants.
Edwin Black, director of marketing and sales for Blackhawk Modifications, noted that manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft has introduced the factory B200GT program using the PT6A-52 engine. “The Dash 61 is the same engine as the Dash 52, but the difference is that they turned the wick up on the Dash 52 for a 20-degree-higher ITT [internal turbine temperature] limit” to 820 degrees, he said.
The PT6A-61 conversion for the B200 is part of a joint effort with Raisbeck Engineering that includes the Raisbeck EPIC performance-enhancement package. Part of that package (also available as a stand-alone mod) is a ram-air recovery system that reduces ITT by about 20 degrees. “So the Dash 61 will have the same power output as the Dash 52 with a 20-degree lower ITT,” Black explained. The EPIC package also includes four-blade Raisbeck props, dual aft strakes and modified inboard wing leading edges.
Producing 850 shp each, the PT6A-61s combined with the EPIC mods will yield “a good 20-knot improvement” in cruise speed along with substantially better takeoff performance, Black said. Although the -61s burn more fuel than the airplane’s original PT6A-42 engines, he added, “It’s an equal tradeoff between fuel and speed, so the cost-per-mile will be similar.” A detailed comparison of performance and economy numbers between the original PT6A-42 powered B200 and the $870,000 Blackhawk/Raisbeck mod (exchange) is on display at Blackhawk’s booth (No. 7650).
The partners have been shooting for a 300-knot cruise speed target at recommended cruise settings. “Maximum cruise settings are in excess of 305 knots,” confided Black, who said Blackhawk hoped to have its first Dash 61 program STC imminently. As of last month, three commitments had been finalized.
Early delivery positions are now being reserved and are limited. The mod center expects to receive four to six shipsets of PT6A-61 engines this year, followed by at least 18 next year, along with 42 sets of other PT6A series engines from PWC.