BLR Aerospace’s latest product, winglets for the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 90 series twin turboprop, received certification in March by authorities in the U.S., Europe and Brazil. The new winglets are currently available for all King Air C90A, C90GT and C90GTi models. BLR expects to receive certification shortly for a winglet package designed to fit earlier King Air C90 and C90E models as well. The company is showing its King Air winglet system in Booth No. 1470.
Since the system was certified more than four years ago, BLR has installed its King Air 200 winglets on 210 King Airs, which is roughly 10 percent of the King Air 200 fleet, according to Dave Marone, v-p of sales and marketing. Hawker Beechcraft (formerly Raytheon/Beech Aircraft) has manufactured nearly 2,000 King Air 90s, and about 1,700 of those qualify for the BLR winglet kit, he said, adding that it’s likely that BLR will at least match the rate of capture of the King Air 200. But more King Air 90s are owner-flown, and owner-pilots tend to opt for modifications like winglets to a greater degree than owners of professionally flown or commercially operated airplanes. “There’s more pride of ownership when it’s your own airplane,” he told AIN.
The winglets are tied in structurally to the tip of each wing on the King Air 90 and 200. A new aluminum wingtip with structurally engineered straps and spars is mounted to the wing and the carbon-fiber winglet is attached to the new wingtip. The kit includes new incandescent lights, but BLR is working on an LED lighting system. On the King Air 90, the entire wingspan grows by three feet five inches. The King Air 90 winglet kit costs $49,950.
The dealer for BLR winglets in North America is Hawker Beechcraft Services, the factory-owned service center network. Hawker Beechcraft is also installing the BLR winglets on new King Air 90 GTx models at the factory. Hawker Beechcraft Services can install the King Air 90 winglets and also provide a gross weight increase to 10,485 pounds, up from 10,100. Outside North America, the winglets are installed by BLR dealers.
Benefits of the winglets include reduced fuel consumption (more than 5 percent), increased range, time-to-climb to 25,000 feet reduced by more than 10 percent, lower drag and improved handling qualities. “The performance improvements are a direct result of an increase in effective wingspan and associated increase in aspect ratio combined with the beneficial impact of the winglet acting as a physical pressure barrier,” according to BLR.