Blackhawk Nears STC for Caravan Upgrade

More powerful engine boosts performance for popular turboprop.

Blackhawk Cessna 208A XP42A

Blackhawk Cessna 208A XP42A

Waco, Texas-based Blackhawk Modifications is getting close to achieving STC approval for its Cessna 208A XP42A upgrade package, which replaces the 675 shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A with an 850 shp PT6A-42A engine spinning a 100-inch-diameter Hartzell four-blade prop.

The performance of the new engine is monitored by Blackhawk’s Hawkeye DigiLog engine gauges and the package also includes a carbon-fiber engine cowling and high-efficiency inlet duct, twin exhaust stacks from Frakes and a 40 percent larger oil cooler. The sum of the modifications, Blackhawk says, result in double the climb performance with a lower fuel consumption compared with the stock version of the turboprop.

Blackhawk’s president and CEO Jim Allmon said several orders have already been booked for the upgraded 208A. The engineering and flight testing required for the STC have already been complete and Blackhawk expects to have the paperwork in hand soon. The cost for the upgrade is $637,000 and Blackhawk will credit $50 for each remaining hour before overhaul that is left on the replaced engine.