After 11 years in the aircraft modification business, Blackhawk Modifications (Booth No. 8227) has announced the European certification of its latest project, the XP engine upgrade for the Piper Cheyenne. The EASA certification covers the Cheyenne I, II and IIXL models of the twin-engine turboprop, which replaces the aircraft’s original engines with factory new 750-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135As.
Blackhawk’s approach has been to replace lower-power P&WC engines with higher powered mills that use the original engine’s footprint, thus delivering a simplified bolt-on upgrade. The performance increase with the XP mod comes from the new engines being flat-rated to the Cheyenne’s airframe horsepower limit, which provides an increase in available torque in the climb and cruise phases. The net result is an advertised maximum cruise speed in the 280-knot range for all Cheyenne models, plus reduced time to climb and extended range.
The XP upgrade offers the operator the option of higher cruising speed or reduced fuel consumption at lower cruise speeds with reduced operating and maintenance costs. Resale value is also enhanced with the more powerful engines; valuation guides such as Vref and Aircraft Bluebook show upgraded legacy aircraft remain competitive in today’s market.
Blackhawk, which is headquartered in Waco, Tex., offers similar engine upgrades to other popular turboprops such as Beechcraft’s King Air 90 and 200, Cessna’s Conquest I and the single-engine Caravan.