Blackhawk Aerospace is adding the Pilatus PC-12 to its roster of aircraft for aftermarket engine upgrade STCs. Blackhawk will replace the stock Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67B engines with the higher thermally rated PT6A-67P model in a programme it is calling the XP67P Engine+ upgrade. Flight testing for this engine upgrade is projected to start in late Q1 of 2022.
The XP67P engine technology utilises improved metallurgy, which allows a higher internal turbine temperature (ITT) limitation of 850 degrees Celsius compared to the stock -67B's 800 degrees limitation for takeoff. More impressively, maximum continuous ITT for climb and cruise is 760 degrees for the -67B and 820 degrees for the XP67P. Further, the PT6A-67P is a 1,200 shaft horsepower (SHP) engine that produces 142 more thermodynamic horsepower than the stock PT6A-67B. The combination of the higher ITT and thermo produced by the -67P engine enables operators to utilise full torque to more efficient cruising altitudes. Where the stock -67B starts losing power at 13,000 ft, the XP67P can maintain full power to 23,000 ft.
“Building upon the success of our existing Caravan engine upgrades, adding the Pilatus PC-12 platform to our growing list of STCs was a natural evolution for the aftermarket engine upgrade business that Blackhawk was built on,” says Jim Allmon, Blackhawk's president and CEO. “Our foundation of innovation continues to carry us to new and exciting heights, and we look forward to welcoming PC-12 owners and operators into the Blackhawk family.”
Blackhawk's market research shows that there are 1,700 total PC-12 models in operation, making it the second largest single-engine turboprop market behind the Cessna Caravan. With more than 600 of the PC-12s eligible for the XP67P upgrade, many of the aircraft in the addressable market are at or close to an overhaul event, which is the optimum opportunity to upgrade to new engines, bringing these aircraft up to factory standards. Further, operators will receive favourable core engine credit of $95 per hour for time remaining to the factory TBO if upgrading before overhaul.
The XP67P Engine+ upgrade includes one factory-new P&WC PT6A-67P engine and maintains the existing Hartzell four-blade aluminum propeller. Blackhawk plans to certify additional propeller options in the future to provide operators modularity in the upgrade package.
Blackhawk has also reached a total of 1,000 XP Engine+ upgrades sold since their start in 1999. The milestone customer for this achievement is Tim Brown, owner of FL-499, which he recently upgraded with Blackhawk's XP67A Engine+ upgrade for the King Air 350.
“I commute back and forth from South Carolina to Alaska for business about five times a year, which takes about 15 hours of flying time and an overnight stop in our stock-equipped Pilatus,” says Brown. “We considered replacing the Pilatus with a jet, but didn't want the added expense and additional pilot requirement that comes along with it. I can fly the 350 myself, and the Blackhawk conversion enables me to reach altitude faster and reduce fuel burn.”
In addition to the Blackhawk XP67A, Brown has also upgraded his aircraft with Centex Tanks, Garmin G1000 NXi, heavy weight landing gear and new paint/interior. “I ended up with essentially a new aircraft for almost half of what it would cost to buy new.”