Let’s say you’ve got a King Air 350, Beechcraft’s biggest and fastest King Air. Then let’s imagine you could add 40 knots of cruise airspeed, shorter runway performance, greatly enhanced climb power and improved hot and high performance, as well. Would you what that kind of upgrade? For Blackhawk, the Waco, Texas-modifier that focuses much of its business on the King Air lineup, the question is strictly rhetorical. What existing King Air 350 owner wouldn’t want that kind of performance?
Blackhawk’s XP67-Plus engine upgrade program, as we’ve reported about recently on PlaneandPilotMag.com, takes an existing King Air 350 (Collins ProLine II models with steam gauges are the candidate planes) and swaps the 1,050-shp PT6A-60A engines for the 1,240-shp PT6A-67A models. The engine upgrade, which is available on new King Air 350s from Textron Aviation’s brand new King Airs, turns older model 350s into a new machine. For the modification, the higher-powered Pratts are paired with 5-blade MT composite props. A Hartzell five-blade composite prop option is available, as well. As a bonus, Blackhawk does the upgrade utilizing the same cowlings and engine mounts, saving cost but just as importantly cutting down greatly on the required installation time.
Blackhawk’s Bob Kromer said that while with most engine exchange programs, owners will opt to wait until their engines are up for overhaul before swapping them out, with the King Air 350 upgrade, he predicts that many will choose to upgrade even before their existing Pratts time out because the performance boost is so great. Kromer described the Blackhawk King Air 350’s cruise performance as verging on that of a light jet with the runway performance of a turboprop.
Cost of the modification is around $1.6 million, though pricing can vary based on the condition and times on the engines being exchanged. Contact Blackhawk for details. Blackhawk can also work with owners on new avionics, paint and interior. The company said that it’s working with major avionics manufacturers to integrate engine gauges for the -67As into their engine monitoring systems.
Blackhawk expects to earn full STC approval for the new engines and props soon and has already starting taking orders for the upgrade program.
Learn more at Blackhawk.