Aftermarket King Air 350 Mods Announced at AirVenture

Enhanced performance and lower noise improves twin turboprop.

Hartzell Propeller and Raisbeck Engineering partnered to create a supplemental type certificate for a swept five-blade composite propeller for the King Air 350.Flying

King Air 350 owners and those considering a King Air purchase got some good news yesterday at EAA AirVenture as several companies announced performance-enhancing modifications for the largest version of Beechcraft’s twin turboprop series.

Hartzell Propeller and Raisbeck Engineering have partnered to create a supplemental type certificate for a swept five-blade composite propeller. The propeller has a 105-inch diameter and the mod improves takeoff and climb performance while significantly reducing the noise footprint. The composite prop has an unlimited blade life with a TBO of 4,000 hours or six years. The STC is expected to be available soon and the price, which has not yet been finalized, is expected to stay below $140,000 for the two props, said Raisbeck’s vice president of sales and marketing, Lynn Thomas. Once the STC is complete, the new propeller will be available through Raisbeck’s and Hartzell’s dealer networks.

One major dealer, Blackhawk Modifications, is in the development stage of another major King Air 350 mod, which will offer significant performance benefits. The company has just completed the flight testing phase for the XP67A Engine+ upgrade, which replaces the original Pratt & Whitney’s PT6A-67As, increasing the available power from 1,050 shp to 1,200 shp.

The increase in power translates to performance benefits that allow the turboprop to nibble at jet-class speeds, boosting the cruise speed by about 40 knots up to as much as 332 knots. The mod also increases the gross weight from 13,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds. It’s no wonder Blackhawk’s president and CEO, Jim Allmon, calls the upgrade “the most exciting in Blackhawk history.”

Despite the bigger engines, Blackhawk has found a way to keep the original cowls, reducing the cost of the installation. The price for the XP67A Engine+ Upgrade is $1.6 million. Blackhawk is offering a $100,000 discount during the week of EAA AirVenture.