Blackhawk Aerospace, which specialises in turboprop aircraft modifications, has announced its King Air 300 engine upgrade program has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval.
The FAA issued a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the XP67A Engine+ upgrade for both the 14,000 and 12,500 lb. versions of the Beechcraft aircraft.
The upgrade removes the 1050 shaft horsepower (SHP) PT6A-60A engines and Hartzell 4-blade metal propellers and replaces them with 1200 SHP PT6A-67A engines and Hartzell 5-blade composite propellers.
“The XP67A on the King Air 300 creates a whole new class of turboprop and will make this one of the most desirable models on the market,” said Jim Allmon, Blackhawk’s President & CEO.
“Not only has the upgrade exceeded our expectations with jet-like climb and speeds, it does so with King Air comfort and economics. We have seen truly remarkable results, and we are proud to be able to offer this upgrade to King Air 300 operators.”
The full process of implementing this upgrade, from initial flight tests to getting hold of the STC, took nine months and 80 hours of certification flights.
The modified aircraft reached maximum cruise speeds of 343 knots true air speed (KTAS) with an initial rate of climb up to 4,000 feet per minute (FPM).
Overall the time to climb was cut by more than half over the standard King Air 300, with a net gradient of climb at 4.2% and single engine climb of 740 fpm (80% gain) other notable improvements.