Blackhawk Caravans STC'd with Lithium-ion Battery

 - April 17, 2017, 10:30 AM
True Blue Power's TB44 lithium-ion battery is now approved for Blackhawk-modified Caravans.

Operators of Cessna 208/208B Caravans powered by Blackhawk Modifications engine upgrades now have the option of adding True Blue Power’s TB44 lithium-ion battery. The 46-amp-hour battery replaces the existing main-ship battery and offers advantages in power, safety, life and energy, according to Blackhawk, which has been offering Pratt & Whitney turboprop engine upgrades since 1999.

The TB44 is 40 percent lighter than standard lead-acid batteries used in the Caravan, weighing 51.7 pounds, and it delivers 26.4 VDC during engine starting, higher than the typical 24 VDC from lead-acid batteries, Blackhawk explained. During engine cranking, voltage typically declines, but the TB44 maintains its voltage level during the entire start sequence, delivering a 12-second-faster engine start and lowering start temperature by 60 to 80 degrees F.

The TB44 employs Nanophosphate lithium-ion cell chemistry. Maintenance consists of an in-field capacity check every two years, and battery useful life averages eight years, double the life of lead-acid batteries, according to True Blue Power. 

“This new True Blue Power battery has a lot of similarities to our popular New Engine Exchange Program with Pratt & Whitney,” said Blackhawk president and CEO Jim Allmon. “We have found that turboprop operators are willing to invest in new technologies that increase aircraft utility and performance while lowering operating costs and risk.” Blackhawk estimates that fuel and maintenance costs for Caravans equipped with the TB44 will be $2,000 per year lower compared with lead-acid battery-equipped Caravans. This is a result of lower hot section and overhaul costs and reduced fuel consumption.

The TB44 was STC'd on the stock 208/208B Caravans without the Blackhawk engine modifications last October.