Beechcraft’s King Air family of aircraft has reigned supreme as aviation’s best-selling twin-engine turboprop for more than 50 years. A top choice for private charter services and business aviation missions, the twin-engine turboprop aircraft series has a strong reputation for its power, comfort, safety, and reliability.
The King Air already rules the skies, but its success has prompted aftermarket specialists to ask themselves the question, “How do we make a great airplane even better?”
The answer, of course, is aftermarket modifications, and King Airs provide an ideal platform for a variety of upgrades, including advanced cockpit avionics, updated interiors, airframe enhancements, and new engines and propellers.
The aftermarket customizations available today allow King Air owners to upgrade their existing aircraft inside and out—including adding significant performance improvements—all for less than the cost of investing in a completely new airplane.
One aftermarket specialist making it possible for King Air owners to add new life to their legacy aircraft is Blackhawk Aerospace, based in Waco, Texas. Over the years, Blackhawk has offered a number of engine performance enhancements to the King Air series. Now, Blackhawk has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the FAA to transform the Beechcraft King Air 300 into the fastest King Air on the planet.
The upgrade replaces the stock Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6A-60A engines and Hartzell 4-blade metal propellers on the 14,000-pound and 12,500-pound gross weight models of the King Air 300 with Blackhawk’s conversion to factory-new 1200 SHP PT6A-67A engines and Hartzell’s optimized composite five-blade swept propellers.
The advantages of the upgraded powerplant combination are evident, providing more power, more thrust, and peak performance for the King Air 300 in every phase of flight. During flight tests, the Blackhawk-powered 300 delivered jet-like climb and speeds, reaching maximum speeds over 340 knots and an initial climb rate of up to 4,000 fpm.
The advanced shape and aerodynamics of Hartzell’s cutting-edge five-blade composite propellers produce more thrust and offer noise abatement and weight reduction, not to mention stunning ramp appeal.
“Once again, Hartzell props are performing at a truly exceptional level and are helping Blackhawk deliver on its promise of a King Air ‘rocket ship,’” said Hartzell Propeller Executive Vice President and General Manager JJ Frigge. “These new aerodynamically optimized Hartzell props improve takeoff and climb performance in addition to delivering impressive cruise speeds and also come with a three-year, 3,000-hour warranty,” he added.
“Blackhawk’s extensive flight testing evaluated and measured single- and multi-engine handling qualities, aircraft performance, engine and accessory cooling, stall speeds and characteristics, landing characteristics, propeller noise and vibration, and high-speed airframe and engine characteristics,” said Blackhawk President and CEO Jim Allmon. “We were delighted to be able to include Hartzell Propeller’s proven five-blade composite technology in this latest Blackhawk upgrade program. These cutting-edge propellers produce more thrust, which delivers peak performance for our customers. It’s a winning combination.”
Blackhawk is offering a $100,000 discount on the modification for orders placed before the end of September. Learn more by visiting the Blackhawk website.