Innova Aerospace brought two King Air 90s this week to EAA AirVenture 2016 to highlight the company’s pending STC for installation of the BendixKing AeroVue flight deck and its paint and interior refurbishment and re-engining programs. One of the King Airs, a A90 model, is parked at Innova’s display area near the Textron Aviation pavilion and is equipped with both the AeroVue avionics suite and GE’s H80 turboprop engines plus fresh paint and interior, and a C90A equipped with the AeroVue flight deck is located at the BendixKing display.
The re-engining program stems from Innova’s purchase of the Power 90 Walter (now GE) upgrade program from Smyrna Air Center more than a year ago. Innova’s upgrade replaces the original Pratt & Whitney Canada engines with GE H80s, although the A90 on display was equipped with Walter 601s, which were replaced with H80s. Compared with the PT6A-135A-powered C90A, the H80-equipped King Air 90 adds 10 percent range, lowers specific fuel consumption by 8 percent and adds 90 shp for a power output of 800 shp per engine. The H80 conversion is available now on the C90 and E90 models, and Innova is adding more H80 STCs for other 90-series models in the first quarter of 2017.
During the flight to Oshkosh from Innova’s Sabreliner facility in Perryville, Mo., both the A90 with the H80 engines and the C90A with the AeroVue cockpit flew the same route, although the modified A90 added three touch-and-goes at Perryville before departing for Oshkosh. The trip included two stops for fuel (one of the airports had no fuel), and after landing in Oshkosh, the re-engined A90, flying at about the same speed as the C90A, had burned just 60 gallons of jet-A, while the unmodified C90A burned 130 gallons.
The C90A with the AeroVue integrated flight deck also has fresh paint and interior and new wiring, and this is the first 90-model King Air to be equipped with AeroVue. BendixKing is developing its own AeroVue STC using a King Air 200.
AeroVue is a modern integrated flight deck with all-new radios and autopilot, three 12-inch high-resolution displays, cursor control device, FMS with coupled VNAV and ADS-B OUT-compliant transponder. SmartView synthetic vision will be optional. Baseline pricing for the King Air 90 AeroVue upgrade is $348,000, and this includes engine instrumentation on the cockpit displays. Innova estimates a conservative turn-time for AeroVue installation at 30 days, but this will likely drop as shops gain experience with the program.
Both the avionics upgrade and the engine replacement will lower the King Air 90’s empty weight. The engine weight difference has not been finalized because Innova is still examining propeller options, which could be something other than the Avia five-blade unit currently installed. The AeroVue upgrade weight savings is about 105 pounds.
The majority of work on the new upgrades is being done at Innova’s Perryville, Mo. facility, which Innova bought from Sabreliner. Innova also owns Sierra Industries in San Antonio and Uvalde, Texas. The King Air H80 engine upgrades will be done at all three facilities, while Innova plans to offer the AeroVue package as a kit that selected avionics shops can install.
Innova’s plan is to offer King Air owners a menu of upgrade options, so they can pick and choose individual products instead of paying for an entirely refurbished and upgraded airplane. This will include not only the H80 engines and AeroVue cockpit but also winglets, paint, interior and other modifications. All the offerings can be seen on Innova’s myKingAir90 website.
Innova has already begun work on its next big project, upgrading the Citation 560 with the AeroVue flight deck. The company is evaluating other Citation options, such as aircraft modernization, performance enhancement and life-extension upgrades. The Citation 560’s AeroVue STC should be certified by the end of this year, and the upgrade price, which Innova hasn’t yet released, should be attractive for 560s that were originally equipped with CRT displays that now cost upwards of $40,000 each to replace. The Citation 560 AeroVue upgrade comes with ADS-B OUT compliance, and TCAS 7.1, Sirius XM weather and FANS/CPDLC will be optional. Innova plans to exhibit the upgraded Citation 560 at this year’s Citation Jet Pilots and NBAA conventions. Like the King Air program, the 560 has its own myCitation560 website.