WACO, Texas, July 20, 2012 – Blackhawk, a leading provider of single- and twin-engine turboprop aircraft upgrades, has completed 18 XP42A upgrade packages and has signed contracts for four more upgrade orders for the popular Cessna 208B Caravan utility aircraft since the program’s introduction last year.
Just one year after the XP42A upgrade debuted at the EAA’s AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, customers in seven states in the U.S. and seven other nations are flying, or soon will fly, Blackhawk’s improved XP42A Caravans. The XP42A upgrade received an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) in July 2011, followed quickly by comparable certifications from EASA in Europe and ANAC in Brazil and Argentina. These certifications in key international regions and Blackhawk’s worldwide installation and support network are fueling higher demand for the upgrade package by skydive, cargo and bush operators.
Blackhawk representatives will be available to discuss the XP42A program and other popular upgrades at the Blackhawk exhibit, Booths 2117 and 2118, in Aisle B, Exhibit Hangar B, during AirVenture 2012, July 23-29 in Oshkosh. Special incentive pricing for all Blackhawk upgrades is available for a limited time. Visitors may also pick up a new Buyer’s Guide that describes the total package advantage of the Blackhawk upgrade, with critically important information for those who operate in cold, remote, or rugged and challenging conditions.
The company expects to add at least 10 more XP42A sales this year, and orders will exceed 30 per year in the near term. In addition, Blackhawk expects to complete an XP42A upgrade STC by the year’s end for Cessna 208A Caravans in response to strong demand from a large number of standard Caravan owners around the world.
“When considering the Caravan’s wide range of missions and the performance improvements Blackhawk’s XP42A package offers, it's not a question of can I afford to upgrade? It's a question of can I afford not to? If my competition upgrades, how much business will I lose?” Blackhawk CEO Jim Allmon said. “We’re adding more muscle to an already capable workhorse, enabling operators to get in and out of places that were once out of reach.”
Blackhawk’s XP42A system is quieter, with no noticeable exhaust in the Caravan’s cabin, and the smaller propeller kicks up less debris during taxi operations. The PT6A-42A’s integral drive shaft does not require propeller turns after engine shut-downs to distribute heat evenly around the shaft and avoid hung restarts and unneeded bearing wear.
In addition, the PT6A-42A’s indirect drive reduces the risk of FOD damage in engine intakes and improves operation in cold temperatures and bad weather. The engine also operates with standard Caravan batteries, wiring harnesses and instruments. Combining these features in a simple package with easier, quicker installation and a larger, more accessible service and support network makes the Blackhawk XP42A upgrade a winner every time.
The XP42A system includes a factory-new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A engine rated at 850 continuous shaft horsepower (SHP). In addition, the package utilizes a new, wide-chord, 100-inch diameter Hartzell four-blade propeller; new composite cowling and high efficiency inlet duct; new 40 percent larger oil cooler; the existing engine mount with a modified horse collar; new engine hose kit; new Blackhawk Hawkeye DigiLog engine gauges; and new Frakes exhaust stacks. In addition, Blackhawk offers full technical support for the life of the aircraft.