Blackhawk Modifications Delivers First XP42A Cessna 208A

OSHKOSH, Wisc. – July 28, 2013 – Blackhawk Modifications, Inc. has completed the first XP42A upgrade of a Cessna Caravan 208A, delivering the higher-performing aircraft to Skydive Hawaii, and is displaying a 208A with that upgrade at EAA’s Airventure 2013 (Booth 358/359) this week.

Based in Waialua, Hawaii, Skydive Hawaii is using the upgraded, 14-passenger “Short” Caravan for high-altitude, low-opening (HALO) jump flights. The XP42A upgrade replaced the 208A’s 675-shaft-horsepower (shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A with a new PT6A-42A engine with a continuous power rating of 850 shp.

“With the XP42A modification, our 208A is the fastest civilian skydiving aircraft in Hawaii,” said Skydive Hawaii’s founder and president, Frank Hinshaw, who last year also purchased Blackhawk’s XP42A upgrade for the company’s Grand Caravan 208B. “This Blackhawk Caravan upgrade is great.”

Hinshaw said the upgraded 208A can climb at more than 1,300 feet per minute at full skydiving capacity all the way to a HALO altitude of 20,000 feet and get there in 20 minutes or less while burning less fuel. The added performance means Skydive Hawaii can carry more HALO passengers each day and do so more economically, which can boost sales and revenue.

“The XP42A upgrade demonstrates Blackhawk’s commitment to providing engine performance solutions to operators of turboprop aircraft,” said President and CEO Jim Allmon. “Just as it is doing for Skydive Hawaii, this proven upgrade will deliver significant performance and economic benefits for the Caravan 208A fleet.”

In June, Blackhawk gained FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for the Caravan 208A upgrade. In addition to the new engine, the 208A upgrade includes a factory-new, 100-inch diameter Hartzell propeller with four wide-chord blades and a new, autoclave-cured carbon-fiber composite cowling and high-efficiency inlet duct produced by Blackhawk Composites.

The XP42A upgrade also includes one four-point engine mount-ring assembly and all new engine mount isolators; a new, 40 percent larger oil cooler; a new engine hose kit; new Blackhawk Hawkeye DigiLog engine gauges, and two new exhaust stacks, as well as a flight manual supplement with full, flight-test certified performance, maintenance and repair manuals and full technical support for life of the airplane. The PT6A-42A has a 3,600 hour time between overhauls with a qualified trend monitoring program; that can be increased to 5,000 for qualified operators.

Blackhawk Modifications, Inc., founded in 1999 in Waco, Texas, is a recognized aviation leader in providing engine performance solutions to the turboprop fleet.  The company has the largest installed fleet of STC twin-engine turboprop engine upgrades and is the largest buyer of new Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprop engines in the world.  A worldwide network of approved dealers and service support centers complements Blackhawk’s U.S. facilities.

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