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Blackhawk Mods Add Muscle to Caravans

Blackhawk's new mods add more muscle to Caravans, both in terms of pure power and in electrical system muscle.

By Dave Higdon

  • Blackhawk Mods
    Blackhawk's new mods add more muscle to Caravans, both in terms of pure power and in electrical system muscle.

July 19, 2015 - For 15 years Blackhawk Modifications powerplant upgrades have brought new power and capabilities to Cessna Aircraft's workhorse turboprop, the venerable Caravan.

Blackhawk, based in Waco, Texas, continues its history of introducing new mods at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh with two new upgrades that provide more muscle for the brawny propjet single.

First up is a new engine upgrade, the XP140 new engine upgrade for 208A and 208B Caravans–the standard short-body model and the stretched Grand Caravan.

This package–aimed primarily at non-G1000-equipped Caravans–bumps available horsepower to 867, a 44 percent increase over a stock Caravan. Designed to replace the original 600- and 675-hp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A powerplants, the package includes a number of other upgrades that enhance the Caravan's performance.

Installation of the exceptionally cost-effective system is fast and allows operators to retain many components from their original PT6A-114/-114A powered aircraft, according to Jim Allmon, Blackhawk Modifications president and CEO.

The performance enhancements from the engine swap include a 41 percent improvement in climb rate to a maximum of 1,275 feet per minute; a 20 percent reduction in takeoff distance; a cruise-speed gain of 10 to 12 knots true to 191 knots; a cruise range of up to 904 nautical miles.

The cowling, engine mount, and exhaust system may all be retained with the Blackhawk 140 installation, assuming they are in good condition. This helps contain upgrade costs and limits installation time to just one week.

In addition to the PT-6A-140 powerplant, Blackhawk’s XP-140 upgrade includes as standard a new 325-amp starter/generator manufactured by AMETEK, plus a new Hartzell 106-inch, three-blade propeller and spinner, new Howell digital/analog engine instruments, larger capacity oil cooler and ducting, all wiring harnesses, installation instructions and FAA-approved flight manual supplements. It is a complete engine kit for a seamless installation that greatly enhances the capability of the aircraft.

Blackhawk also announced the availability of this new, more-powerful starter/generator for its XP-42A upgrade package. The upgrade from the standard 200-amp unit further improving an already powerful airplane. “Many Caravans are working airplanes, and this upgrade will instantly increase mission capability, safety, speed, and profits,” Allmon said. “For those Caravan operators who want like-new aircraft performance and capability at far less cost, our 140 plug and play new engine upgrade is perfect.”

Additional certifications for float-equipped Caravans and aircraft outside the U.S. are also planned. Blackhawk's engine-upgrade experts are on hand to answer questions and take orders at the company's exhibit stand, No. 307, throughout AirVenture. The company exhibit also includes an upgraded Caravan and an example of another one of the Blackhawk Modifications line for the Beech King Air C90.

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