Photo: Blackhawk Modifications
Blackhawk Modifications’ Cessna Caravan, fitted with an 850-shp PWC PT6A-42A engine and new four-blade Hartzell prop, is making its first public appearance at AirVenture 2009. Jim Allmon, the firm’s CEO, claims the $550,000 XP42A upgrade shrinks takeoff distance, boosts climb rate by up to 73 percent and enables the aircraft to cruise as fast as 198 KTAS with the cargo pod installed. If you push up the power, though, the aircraft will burn 440 pph. However, Blackhawk claims the modified airplane actually will burn less fuel at the same cruise speeds as the original aircraft because the engine, prop and cowling combination is more efficient. As a result, the firm claims the aircraft can fly farther at the same speeds.
Photo: Fred George
The XP42A kit includes a factory new 3,600 hour TBO engine, twin Frakes exhaust stacks, new 100-inch four-blade Hartzell aluminum prop with custom-designed airfoils, new carbon-fiber composite cowling and new Shadin DigiLog engine gauges, among other modifications. The XP42 conversion adds about 80 lb to aircraft empty weight, but a 71 lb boost in maximum takeoff weight virtually offsets it. With the extra weight being in the nose, there is a bit of extra trim drag from the one-inch forward shift in CG.
We can’t wait to fly the XP42A and report back to you!