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Blackhawk Aero Conversions Hard at Work

Re-Engined Aircraft a Perennial Fav for Turboprop Operators

Blackhawk Aero came to Sun n’ Fun with some of their much-appreciated King Air 300 handiwork, a fully outfitted bird with all the aero parts, avionics, and winglets you can buy. The plane was a fitting backdrop for a quick chat to get the rundown on how things are going at Blackhawk Aero.

“A lot of people were upset that the 360 didn’t have more than new avionics and an upholstery upgrade - they wanted bigger engines! That’s where we come in. We get a lot of older aircraft for a turbine conversion, sure, but we actually do a lot of new aircraft. We have customers who bring them right to us, fresh from the factory. Right now we have 3 King Air 360’s coming in for a Blackhawk conversion, where the buyers end up with an XP67A on each side. In the end, they get a faster climb, a faster cruise, quieter props, and more payload than they had brand new.”

When asked about the development process Blackhawk has, he painted a picture of a lean, dedicated core of engineers and techs hammering out one successful mod after another. Recent work focused on installing the XP67 in the PC-12, but that’s just one of the irons in their fire. Their flexibility as an aftermarket producer really came into play when they discovered they could easily go where the OEMs couldn’t. In one developmental tale, Blackhawk was able to forego the creation and design of a complex, 140+ piece cowling for a newer engine installation, all because they would simply cut away a portion of the original, simpler piece and add a hump. The end result? More performance for the operator with about $120,000 saved, according to back-of-the-napkin estimates.



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