Blackhawk to Offer Pilatus PC-12 Upgrade

Coming engine conversion is expected to result in a 20-kias speed increase.

Blackhawk Aerospace says it is developing an supplemental type certificate (STC) for the Pilatus PC-12, replacing the PT6A turboprop engine with a new, more powerful model.

The single engine turboprop conversion builds on Blackhawk’s success with Cessna’s Caravan series of aircraft.

The news was announced at a press conference at the National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE).

Bob Kromer, senior vice president of business development at Blackhawk Aerospace Upgrades, said the program will be offered for PC-12, PC-12/45, and PC-12/47 aircraft produced between 1994 and 2008, of which there are more than 600 on the market. These airplanes have been in operation for decades and, for many, the engine has reached the point where it needs its first or even second overhaul.

In place of the original PT6A-67B, Blackhawk will install a PT6A-67P. Because the company has delivered more than 1,700 PT6 engines to more than 1,000 aircraft, Kromer said the price point for a replacement makes sense in lieu of an overhaul. The cost of the conversion is expected to be approximately $800,000, including a new propeller, which will likely be a Hartzell prop, according to Jim Allmon, president and CEO of Blackhawk Aerospace.

Other Improvements

In addition to getting a new engine, PC-12 operators can expect significant performance improvements at higher elevations from the Blackhawk conversion. Performance with the upgrade begins to improve significantly at around 15,000 feet, and Blackhawk estimates a cruise speed jump of more than 20 ktas above 20,000 feet.

The STC is expected to be complete in Q1 of next year.

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