Blackhawk Announces New XR Upgrade Kit for the King Air 350 Series

Blackhawk Announces New XR Upgrade Kit for the King Air 350 Series

Blackhawk Announces New XR Upgrade Kit for the King Air 350 Series

Blackhawk Aerospace announces the FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration’s) STC (supplemental type certificate) approval of its new XR Upgrade Kit for the King Air 350 Series. The XR Kit optimizes a stock King Air 350 series aircraft by increasing max gross takeoff weight to 16,500 pounds and maintaining a basic aircraft empty weight that is 220 pounds lighter than comparable extended-range aircraft for greater payloads and up to 25% more endurance.

“We’ve been providing aftermarket improvements to general- and business-aviation aircraft for over 20 years, and we’re honored to expand our offerings into the government, military and special-mission arenas,” says Jim Allmon, Blackhawk Aerospace president and CEO. “The XR conversion will transform a standard King Air 350 into an extended-range aircraft and will help our service members operating in the harshest environments complete their mission safely, on time, and under budget with a far more capable aircraft.”

The original Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6A-60A engines and four-bladed aluminum propellers are removed and replaced with brand-new 1200-shaft horsepower (SHP) PT6A-67A engines and lightweight MT five-bladed composite propellers. The XR Kit also includes new heavyweight landing gear, high flotation tires, Raisbeck fully-enclosed high flotation gear doors, and the True Blue Power TB44 Lithium-ion battery. The XR Kit also incorporates conformal auxiliary CenTex saddle tanks that are 172 pounds lighter than the OEM’s extra-range fuel tanks while providing additional endurance and range improvements to meet the most demanding mission requirements.

The PT6A-67A 1200 SHP engines provided with the XR Kit are flat-rated to 1050 SHP. The 67A’s larger compressor produces higher thermodynamic horsepower output to provide full torque at higher altitudes. This extra horsepower provides improved first-, second- and third-segment climb capability, greater takeoff performance in hot and high conditions, and increased single-engine service ceilings. The ability to reach FL350 in 18 minutes significantly reduces exposure within hostile airspace and ensures crews can be on-station to meet time-critical mission execution windows. A larger, single oil cooler is provided with each engine to ensure oil temperatures remain within limits while taxiing during the hottest weather conditions. The new PT6A-67A engines come with a P&WC enhanced warranty of 2,500 hours or five years with prorated coverage to the 3,600 TBO (time before overhaul) and includes all mandatory and optional service bulletins. The new engines deliver peace of mind and greater reliability while significantly expanding mission capabilities.

The quieter MT five-blade composite propellers offer an optimized blade design and shorter diameter (102 inches) to increase ground clearance and reduce foreign object damage (FOD). The composite blades reduce cabin and exterior noise by at least 5 dBA, helping to improve stealth operations. The propellers are extremely durable and allow for the removal of the ground-idle solenoid, which reduces weight and maintenance costs. They also come with the longest TBO in the industry at 4,500 hours, as well as offer unlimited blade-life compared to traditional aluminum propellers, which can only survive to the third or fourth overhaul.
The True Blue Power TB44 Lithium-ion battery replaces the main-ship battery, providing a weight savings of 30 pounds while doubling cranking amps for quicker engine starts. The battery is built for use under the toughest conditions, with superior temperature performance (-40°C to +70°C) while having a useful life that is double that of lead-acid and NiCad alternatives. The intelligent monitoring system incorporated into each True Blue Power battery prevents the need for battery removal for capacity checks and reduces maintenance costs by 50% or more.

The XR-equipped King Air 350 with PT6A-67A engines requires 4.8% less power at equal speed and produces 24% more horsepower at typical loiter altitudes, delivering up to 25% more endurance than a PT6A-60A-equipped King Air 350. Furthermore, Blackhawk’s XR Kit significantly expands the ability to meet or exceed second-segment climb-gradient requirements with full fuel and provides a head-turning 60% increased climb rate to altitude.  The XR Kit also increases cruise speeds 30-40 KTAS to ensure on-time mission execution with minimal notification.

The Blackhawk XR Kit transforms readily available King Air 350s into a low-cost, high-performance, special-mission workhorse.

For more information on the XR Upgrade Kit for the King Air 350, visit or call +1 (254) 755 6711.

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