Reinhardt Michel of Weinsburg, Germany, has become Blackhawk's 300th engine upgrade customer with his Piper PA-31T Cheyenne II, purchased in 2004.
"Faced with the TBO limit of my existing PT6A-28 engines, I spent some time investigating the alternatives, including overhaul of the existing engines versus upgrades with new engines," Michel explains.
"My initial contact with Blackhawk was very promising, and we agreed Blackhawk would adapt its technology to European standards and EASA approval," he says. "Promises turned quickly into reality, and I decided to run my Cheyenne through the Blackhawk conversion, which also includes the Hawkeye gauges.
"In addition, I have decided to upgrade to MT-Propellers' new five-blade propellers, and my Cheyenne II will be the first aircraft worldwide with these super silent and high- performing props. I am extremely excited to pick up my "new" aircraft and experience the difference."
After founding a successful information technology company, ICP vortex Computersysteme GmbH, Michel and his partners sold the business to Intel Corporation. Today, Michel is an investor in startup companies, a consultant and a member of various advisory boards. He will fly his Cheyenne primarily for personal travel.
The Blackhawk XP135A upgrades Cheyenne I, IA, II and IIXL models, all high-performance, pressurised twin turboprop aircraft. The upgrade, which requires no airframe modifications and adds negligible weight, replaces original, early-generation engines with factory-new Pratt & Whitney PT6A-135A engines with full warranties. The new engines significantly increase climb and cruise performance, as well as resale value, while reducing total operating costs.