Higher horsepower upgrade for Caravan floatplanes approved

Blackhawk Modifications of Waco, Texas, and Wipaire, Inc. of South St. Paul, Minn.,  have received FAA approval of the Blackhawk XP42A engine upgrade for Cessna Model 208 and 208A Caravans on Wipline floats.

This approval enables owners of these aircraft to install a new 850 horsepower Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A turboprop engine in place of the standard 600 horsepower PT6A-114 engine or the 675 horsepower PT6A-114A engines installed in these two models, company officials noted.

“To a floatplane pilot, there is no such thing as too much horsepower,” explains Chris Dunkin, Blackhawk’s Chief Pilot. “Hot days, high altitudes, heavy loads, small lakes — when these conditions are encountered by Caravan floatplane operators, our engine upgrade makes them much easier to handle. When the lake is small and the trees are tall, that extra 175-250 horsepower really reduces the anxiety factor of getting up and away.”

Blackhawk Modifications is celebrating its 15th year of operation in 2014. It will also see its 500th engine conversion completed this year, according to company officials. New Pratt & Whitney engines approved by Blackhawk STCs can be installed in most Beechcraft King Air 90 and 200 models, Piper Cheyenne I and II models, the Cessna Model 425 Conquest I and now the Cessna Model 208A and 208B Caravan models.

For more information: Blackhawk.aero, Wipaire.com

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