XP135A ENGINE+ UPGRADE
KING AIR 90
King Air C90 Engine Upgrade Story – Tom Kraus
Walsh Aviation shares the safety, enhancements, and performance benefits of their Blackhawk XP135A Engine+ upgrade.
The real power of an XP135A Engine+ Upgrade is in its ability to increase speed while reducing fuel consumption.
INVESTMENT & VALUE
All this performance and value starts with an initial investment, minus the cost of your next overhaul. Other financial factors to consider include:
- Lower operating costs
- Pratt & Whitney core engine credits up to $35 per hour per engine for every hour remaining to the factory TBO
- Strongest resale value of any engine upgrade on the market
- Nearly every Blackhawk-powered aircraft sold within 500 hours of the upgrade recovered close to or more than the combined investment of the airframe and engines
- Extend the time it takes to reach the 3,600-hour overhaul by over a year and a half
- More power to take off from short, unimproved, high altitude, and remote runways
- Increased rate of climb
- Increased cruise speed
- Greater safety margins
- Improved resale value
- Increased single-engine service ceiling
- Two Factory-New Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6A-135A Engines (Exchange)
- P&WC enhanced new engine warranty 2,500 hours/5 years with prorated coverage to the 3,600-hour TBO
- Installation kit and drawings
- STC paperwork and instructions for continued airworthiness
- Flight manual supplement
- P&WC engine logbook and Blackhawk logbook case
- Blackhawk cycle book and aircraft decals
- P&WC PT6 line maintenance entitlement training
- Two-year subscription for P&WC engine maintenance/parts manuals
- Blackhawk lifetime customer support guarantee
- Optional: Hawkeye digilog smart gauges
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my shop do the installation or does Blackhawk have to do the installation?
Blackhawk does not perform installations. Although the installation is basically an engine change and can be done by any Pratt & Whitney Canada certified facility, we have found that you will save time and money if the upgrade is performed by any of our approved installation facilities worldwide. These facilities have the experience to complete the upgrade faster and with the higher exacting quality you demand.
What is the lead time on engine(s)?
Blackhawk orders all engines a year in advance. We can usually deliver within 30-60 days or sooner. Call for timing on the next set of available engines.
Do you offer financing?
Yes. We work with several banks that offer very competitive rates.
How does the Blackhawk XP Engine+ Upgrade affect resale value?
To date, nearly every Blackhawk powered aircraft that has been resold within 500 hours of the upgrade has sold close to or higher than the combined investment of the airframe and engine(s). Resale value of Blackhawk powered aircraft remains strong in all markets. Many dealers are even speculating on Blackhawk powered aircraft.
How is Blackhawk different from other upgrades or overhaul?
In addition to worldwide product support and product branding, Blackhawk XP Engine+ Upgrades offer the following benefits:
- Listings in Jetnet, AMSTAT, Aircraft Bluebook, and Vref
- Worldwide market acceptance with the largest installed fleet of upgraded corporate size turboprop aircraft in the world
- Full customer support department with on-staff technical support technician, customer service representative, and worldwide distribution and service center network
- The Blackhawk Owner’s Group
- The strongest resale value of any engine upgrade on the market
- Approval by the FAA (United States), EASA (Europe), DGAC (Brazil)
Can I put my airplane on charter?
Yes. In fact, many charter companies prefer operating aircraft upgraded with a Blackhawk XP Engine+ Upgrade because they are able to operate out of shorter, higher, and hotter runways.
Can I keep my core engine?
Since the upgrade price already reflects the value of the cores, you can keep your core engine if you are willing to pay Pratt & Whitney Canada for the core. Prices will depend on core engine times.
My engine(s) still have time left to TBO, so should I wait until engines are due for an overhaul?
Pratt & Whitney Canada (PW&C) offers an engine credit for every hour remaining to the factory TBO. To qualify, the core engine must have enough cycles on the life-limited components to make TBO and all records supporting the component times and cycles must be present and submitted. Waiting until TBO risks the possibility of a core engine problem, resulting in additional core charges from PW&C. Also, prices from P&WC increase every year, so waiting two or three years would mean a higher investment without any of the time-remaining credit.
How does an upgrade compare to buying a newer aircraft?
Blackhawk offers transformative performance without the risks of buying new: Will you be able to sell your aircraft for the value you expect? Will there be unexpected costs to acquire your new aircraft? Will there be unexpected issues not uncovered by the pre-buy? Upgrading with Blackhawk eliminates uncertainty and the transactional costs of buying another aircraft while transforming the performance and utility of the aircraft you know best.
If I upgrade, does it make sense to wait until my next overhaul?
Why wait to start enjoying the many benefits of an upgrade? Save money on every mission you fly, increase the capability of your aircraft, and take advantage of generous core credits for time remaining. Over half of Blackhawk’s customers upgrade with more than 500 hours remaining.
But won’t I burn more fuel?
Yes, the fuel burn is greater at equal altitude. However, taking advantage of the increased climb performance and higher cruise speeds significantly narrows or eliminates the increase in fuel consumption. Also, utilizing the increased climb and cruise performance will reduce block times and deliver a significant reduction in overall operating costs. Typically, any increase in fuel cost will be offset by a larger reduction in direct operating costs. We’ve done the math, it pays to fly faster!
Won’t an upgrade cost more than an overhaul?
Yes, you’ll spend more on an upgrade than an overhaul, but you’ll have so much more to show for it: increased earning ability, better resale value, enhanced safety, reduced operating costs and a better flying experience.
From real XP135A owners and operators
“It’s a great upgrade, the engines really make a difference. We were flying at 22, 23 and now we are 27,28. The range increase is incredible!”
I could not be happier with the engine mods and my partners are as well. We’ve noticed reduced trip times on our regular flights that have impressed everybody. The additional safety margin and auto feather we never had before has made a good airplane great.
My Blackhawks have performed perfectly. They have been such a great addition to the F90.
LOVE THE ENGINES! It’s great to have the extra speed, especially with headwinds! And climb at high density altitudes is outstanding. A fantastic decision I highly recommend! Thank you for having such a great mod available!
Thanks for building a great airplane for me. The Blackhawk conversion is fast, strong and safe. I have more confidence in this airplane than any of its predecessors. Keep the engineering coming.
I would do the Blackhawk conversion again in a heartbeat!
I have had a wonderful experience with my C90-Axp. The Blackhawk modification has delivered as promised in performance. I’m so impressed that I have given the go ahead to install the Blackhawk Extra Range Fuel Lockers so that I can travel even farther in my King Air. Eliminating a fuel stop will save time and money!
After adding a few panel enhancements we began to think about other possible improvements. The array of options is quite large, but nothing offered the type of major performance gains described in the Blackhawk literature. I am thrilled with the performance and have had great support from the company.
Performance is spectacular with 3,800 fpm rates of climb and TAS of 276 kts. Not bad for a 1978 C90!
I have flown about 100 hours now with my new Blackhawk engines (XP135A). I have to say that I’m delighted with the performance. I can fly with 7 people and full fuel at 260 kts (average) at FL240 over 1,000 NM. That’s impressive! This is like having a new plane. I definitely recommend the upgrade!
Schedule a free call with one of Blackhawk’s performance upgrade experts to learn how you can transform your King Air and positively impact your bottom line.