In May of this year, Blackhawk Aerospace celebrated their 20th year in business with an overall rebrand and facility expansion at their Waco, TX headquarters. Since reaching that milestone, the company has celebrated several other wins in 2019 including certifying the World’s Fastest King Air and signing another 10-year agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC). Blackhawk’s efforts in their 20th year have set the stage for major growth in the company’s future.
Blackhawk purchased an adjacent 10,000 square foot hangar and offices to house their growing sales and marketing teams. The new facility doubled Blackhawk’s footprint on the Waco Regional Airport, which the company says was sorely needed to showcase aircraft for sale that have been refurbished under the popular Phoenix by Blackhawk program.
“The Phoenix program has really taken off this year,” said Blackhawk President and CEO, Jim Allmon. “The extra hangar space was essential in supporting the rapid growth of the program.”
One Phoenix-upgraded aircraft includes Blackhawk’s King Air 300 certification test bed, FA-124. Blackhawk upgraded the aircraft with new paint, new interior, new propellers, and of course, a new XP67A Engine+ Upgrade.
“FA-124 is not only the best-looking King Air 300 on the market, but it’s also the fastest King Air in the world,” said Allmon. “Our official reported cruise speed states 343 ktas, but that’s a conservative number. We’ve seen speeds north of 350 ktas from the -67A engines and Hartzell propeller combination. It’s truly incredible.”
Since obtaining the XP67A certification for the King Air 300 in July, Blackhawk has secured five orders for King Air 300 operators.
The upgrade removes the standard 1050 shaft horsepower (SHP) PT6A-60A engines and Hartzell 4-blade metal propellers and replaces them with factory-new 1200 SHP PT6A-67A engines and Hartzell 5-blade composite propellers resulting in the best performing King Air on the planet.
Another program with major growth potential involves the King Air 300’s big brother, the King Air 350. Blackhawk has seen tremendous success in upgrading both civilian and special mission 350’s and plans to expand even further into the special mission arena. The company stated they will release more information on their special mission projects later this year.
To help support the projected growth from these new programs as well as support Blackhawk’s legacy products, Blackhawk recently signed another 10-year agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada for factory-new PT6A engines. This arrangement continues the successful relationship between the two partners, which has resulted in an exchange of over 1,600 engines over the past 20 years making Blackhawk one of the largest buyers of P&WC turboprop engines in the world.
“Pratt has been an invaluable partner for us from day 1,” Allmon said. “Not only have they produced the highest-quality engine any pilot could want, but they’ve also been a sincere pleasure to work with for the past 20 years and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership.”