Blackhawk Delivers 800th XP Upgrade

Blackhawk Modifications has sold 800 of its XP engine upgrades with the delivery of a Phoenix-edition King Air C90-1 with its XP135A engine upgrade. The company also announced that flight testing of its latest program, the XP67A engine upgrade for 12,500-pound and 14,000-pound-gross-weight models of the King Air 300, is underway and that it is continuing a $50,000 pre-certification discount on orders for that program, first announced this summer.

The Phoenix-edition 1982 King Air C90-1 on display at EAA AirVenture 2018 where 800th customers Gregg and Jan Goodall first saw the airplane.

Blackhawk expects the XP67A upgrade for the King Air 300 to deliver improved performance, including a maximum cruise speed of 345 to 350 knots, time to climb from sea level to FL350 in less than 17 minutes, and better performance at higher density altitudes. The upgrade includes two new P&WC PT6A-67A engines with a factory new engine warranty of five years/2,500 hours, installation drawings, STC paperwork, approved flight manual supplement, instructions for continued airworthiness, training from FlightSafety International for PT6A line maintenance, and a two-year subscription to P&WC engine maintenance/parts manuals. Qualifying core PT6A-60A engines will be trade-in credited at $70 per hour each for time remaining on the 3,600-hour TBO. 

The STC flight test program for the XP67A upgrade for the King Air 300 will include measuring parameters such as single- and multi-engine handling, aircraft performance, engine and accessory cooling, stall speeds and characteristics, landing characteristics, propeller noise and vibration, and high-speed airframe/engine characteristics. Blackhawk expects FAA STC approval for the upgrade next summer.  

Blackhawk’s Phoenix program allows owners of legacy King Airs to upgrade from a menu of options, including engines, avionics, and paint and interior. Blackhawk’s 800th XP upgrade, a 1982 King Air C90-1, was delivered to Gregg and Jan Goodall of Breckenridge, Texas, and replaced the stock PT6A-21 engines with the XP135A engine upgrade, generating a 36 percent increase in available horsepower, a 59 percent increase in climb rate, more than 270 knots maximum cruise speed, and a 19,000-foot single-engine service ceiling. The Goodalls also opted for Phoenix signature paint and interior design, the Raisbeck Epic package, and new Garmin glass-panel avionics including two G600TXi displays, WAAS-enabled GTN 650 and 750, GTX 335 transponder for ADS-B Out, and the L3 Lynx transponder for ADS-B In and Out. 

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IS&S PC-12 Autothrottle ThrustSense Transforms the Turboprop Single, Eyeing King Air 200 Next

This is an excerpt from a very interesting article you should fully read over at FlyingMag. Below are quick highlights. 

What is this voodoo? I’d been glancing outside the airplane, a last check for traffic on short final, as Eric Smedberg, chief pilot for Innovative Solutions & Support, swung the Pilatus PC-12 onto the runway and engaged the autothrottle system with a simple press of a button.

I looked down just in time to see the power lever advancing from the idle position to max continuous takeoff thrust, which on this day was a little more than halfway to the forward stops. Seeing the autothrottles in action on a business jet or airliner is no big deal, but in a PC-12 powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A lacking full-authority digital engine control, that lever shouldn’t move by itself. It was like a ghost was in our presence — a decidedly friendly ghost, I had to admit.

IS&S’s PC-12 served as the certification test airplane for ThrustSense.

For nearly the next two hours of flying, including climbs, cruise flight, descents and required navigation performance (RNP) precision instrument approaches, neither Smedberg nor I adjusted the power lever or touched the yokes. Occasional button pressing and knob twisting, plus radio calls and the requisite scans for traffic on this VFR day, were about the only duties necessary for the human pilots on the round-robin demonstration flight across central New Jersey. It wasn’t until we were on final approach for landing back at Morristown Municipal Airport that Smedberg clicked off the autothrottle at 500 feet and took manual control from the unseen computerized apparition that had been working furiously — and flawlessly, I must report — behind the scenes to keep us perfectly on speed, course and altitude throughout our time aloft.

Smedberg says the autothrottle can be adapted to virtually any PT6A-powered airplane by adding the ISU standby display, which operates the thrust computer software that makes the autothrottle function. Testing of ThrustSense aboard a King Air 200 is well underway. IS&S and Blackhawk Modifications have already announced an agreement for Blackhawk to distribute and install IS&S’s NextGen flight deck and integrated turboprop autothrottle system for King Air 200s and 350s — and for good reason. The two models account for more than 3,000 airplanes, according to IS&S, and there are another 2,000 C90 through E90 and F90 King Air models that are candidates for the upgrades as well.

Testing of ThrustSense is well underway in the King Air 200, IS&S says.

The King Air NextGen flight deck will be similar to the STC’d PC-12 avionics upgrade, but in the twin-PT6A King Air applications, the autothrottle will include engine-out thrust control, which in case of engine failure automatically sets the remaining engine to the correct power level if airspeed drops below minimum controllable airspeed. The idea is that the pilot can maintain control as the autothrottle works to mitigate adverse yaw, allowing the airplane to safely accelerate under full control.

Read the full details over at FlyingMag

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A Brief Look at the PT6A Powered Beechcraft Model 99 & Variants

The Beechcraft Model 99 is a civilian aircraft produced by the Beechcraft. It is also known as the Beech 99 Airliner and the Commuter 99. The 99 is a twin-engine, unpressurized, 15 to 17 passenger seat turboprop aircraft, derived from the earlier Beechcraft King Air and Queen Air. It uses the wings of the Queen Air, the engines and nacelles of the King Air, and sub-systems from both, with a specifically-designed nose structure. Design and development

Jamaica Air Shuttle Beech 99 In Flight

Designed in the 1960s as a replacement for the Beechcraft Model 18, it first flew in July 1966. It received type certification on May 2, 1968, and 62 aircraft were delivered by the end of the year.

In 1984, the Beechcraft 1900, a pressurized 19-passenger airplane, was introduced as the follow-on aircraft.

Production ended in early 1987. Nearly half the Beech 99s in airline service are now operated as freighters by Ameriflight.

Variants

  • 99 Airliner: Twin-engined Commuter and cargo transport aircraft, 10,400 lb max takeoff weight, accommodation for a crew of two and up to 15 passengers. powered by two 550-hp (410-kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-20 turboprop engines.
  • 99 Executive: Executive transport version of the 99 Airliner.
  • 99A Airliner: Same as the 99 Airliner, but powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27 engines flat-rated at 550 hp.
  • A99A Airliner: One of a kind, 99A Airliner without wing center section tanks; this aircraft has been scrapped.
  • B99 Airliner: Improved version, 10,900 lb max takeoff weight, powered by two 680-hp (507-kW) Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27/28 engines.
  • B99 Executive: Executive transport version of the B99 Airliner.
  • C99 Commuter: Improved version, 11,300 lb (5,100 kg) max takeoff weight, Pratt & Whitney PT6A-36 (engines flat rated at 715 hp)
Ameriflight Beech C99 freighter takes off from the Mojave Airport

Operators

In July 2018, 105 Beechcraft B99 were in airline service, all in the Americas:[1]

Specifications (Model 99A)

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Capacity: Normally 15 passengers (8-seat ‘Business Executive’ model available)
  • Length: 44 ft 6¾ in (13.58 m)
  • Wingspan: 45 ft 10½ in (13.98 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 4⅓ in (4.37 m)
  • Wing area: 279.7 ft² (25.99 m²)
  • Empty weight: 5,533 lb (varies depending upon equipment and configuration) (2,515 kg)
  • Loaded weight:
  • Max. takeoff weight: 10,400, 10,900, or 11,300 lb – see above (4,727 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney PT6A-20, -27. or -36 turbopropHartzell constant speed, feathering, and reversing, 550, 680, or 715 eshp depending upon model/mod status each

Performance

First read at https://www.revolvy.com/page/Beechcraft-Model-99

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Quest Eyes Special Missions Roles for Kodiak

Quest Aircraft is seeking to broaden the customer base for its Kodiak 100 single-engined turboprop with the expansion into the special missions market.

Rob Wells, chief executive of the Sandpoint, Idaho–based airframer, says the utility aircraft has found a successful niche in the charter, commercial short-haul, corporate, and cargo markets, but its unique features make it an ideal platform for other applications, such as law enforcement, surveillance and military transport. “We have been working on a concept for a year now, and there is no shortage of interest,” he says.

The Kodiak’s appeal comes from a host of features including its wing, which has a discontinuous leading edge, giving it “fantastic” low-speed performance.

The Kodiak’s high-wing loading also creates a stable platform – a necessity for a surveillance operation. The Kodiak’s cargo pod can store sensors, and its large cargo door allows for the easy transfer of equipment, while the large windows are “ideal”, Wells says, for an observation role. The aircraft also has a 9.5h loiter time.

In April, Quest introduced the second-generation version of the Kodiak – powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 – and Wells says response to the aircraft has been “overwhelming”, with 10 examples delivered to date.

The Series II has a host of new enhancements and equipment, including Garmin’s next generation G1000NXi flightdeck; additional storage in the cockpit; a restyled cargo doorstep to “reduce weight and improve functionality”; and improved fuselage seals to provide “even better” soundproofing and cabin ventilation.

Since its introduction in 2008, Quest has incorporated over 200 enhancements into the short take-off and landing Kodiak, including the introduction of two new interiors; an increased landing weight; and the integration of the Garmin GFC 700 automatic flight control system.

FlightGlobal’s Fleets Analyzer database records a global fleet of more than 255 of the all-metal aircraft. The company shipped 31 examples in 2017.

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Essentials For Your PT6A Engine Oil Analysis

This article originally appeared on the P&WC Airtime Blog.

In an aircraft engine, oil is much more than just a lubricant. It plays a number of other important roles, including cooling, cleaning and noise reduction. It’s therefore vital to monitor and analyze oil to ensure it’s doing its job properly.

WHEN AND WHAT TO ANALYZE

Engine oil sampling and analysis are recommended if a visual inspection reveals that the oil is very dark, has an unusual odor or exhibits other abnormal properties. You don’t necessarily have to change the oil, but at the very least, it should be analyzed to determine its total acid number (TAN) and water content.

Typically, the water concentration in brand-new oil varies between 0.02% and 0.04%, or 200 and 400 parts per million (ppm). However, water can enter the engine’s oil system due either to accidental contamination during compressor wash or normal condensation. Since aircraft engine oils easily absorb water and moisture from the air, their water content will rise over time. If it exceeds 1000 ppm, the TAN may rise as well, eventually leading to engine component corrosion.

HOW TO SAMPLE AIRCRAFT ENGINE OIL

When you take an oil sample, identify it with the brand name, engine serial number, total run time (oil life) and engine time since new (TSN) or time since overhaul (TSO). Have the sample analyzed for its TAN and water content by an approved laboratory. If necessary, ask the lab to analyze the oil viscosity and additives as well.

If a parameter exceeds the established limit, it’s recommended that you: 1) drain and discard the oil from the tank; 2) check the condition of the oil filter and, if needed, replace it with a new one; 3) refill the tank with fresh oil.

If you have access to the right kits, you could also perform the analysis yourself. Use a Titra-Lube TAN Test Kit to analyze the oil’s TAN and a HydroScout Analyzer kit for the water content.

Read more: Oil Analysis Technology Makes Proactive Maintenance Easier.

RACK YOUR OIL CONSUMPTION

Every time you add oil into your engine, write down the amount so that you can calculate the average consumption. Check this figure against the limits indicated in the maintenance manual. If the engine is using more oil than it should, there may be a part that needs maintenance. For example, a damaged O-ring could be causing a leak, or something may be happening in the engine that’s burning up extra oil.

Oil is key to your engine’s health and performance, so give it the attention it deserves by following the advice above.

Read all technical tips and talk from our experts about aircraft engine oil on Airtime.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF AVIATION GAS TURBINE ENGINE LUBRICANTS

The earliest aviation piston engines were lubricated with natural oils such as castor oil and refined mineral oils. However, they lacked the thermal-oxidative stability needed for high-temperature mechanical systems and would form deposits like gum and lacquer on metal surfaces.

In the 1950s, following research efforts aimed at improving thermal-oxidative stability, synthetic polyester-based lubricants became the base stock of choice for aviation gas turbine engine oils. Thanks to their chemical properties, these lubricants are effective over a wide temperature range, from -65oF to 425oF. They possess good thermal-oxidative stability, high lubricating film strength, good surface wetting, and low friction and wear rates, making them ideal for aircraft engines.

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Quest Eyes Special Missions Roles for PT6A Powered Kodiak

Quest Aircraft is seeking to broaden the customer base for its Kodiak 100 single-engined turboprop with the expansion into the special missions market.

Rob Wells, chief executive of the Sandpoint, Idaho–based airframer, says the utility aircraft has found a successful niche in the charter, commercial short-haul, corporate, and cargo markets, but its unique features make it an ideal platform for other applications, such as law enforcement, surveillance and military transport. “We have been working on a concept for a year now, and there is no shortage of interest,” he says.

Kodiak 100 on Floats

The Kodiak’s appeal comes from a host of features including its wing, which has a discontinuous leading edge, giving it “fantastic” low-speed performance.

The Kodiak’s high-wing loading also creates a stable platform – a necessity for a surveillance operation. The Kodiak’s cargo pod can store sensors, and its large cargo door allows for the easy transfer of equipment, while the large windows are “ideal”, Wells says, for an observation role. The aircraft also has a 9.5h loiter time.

In April, Quest introduced the second-generation version of the Kodiak – powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 – and Wells says response to the aircraft has been “overwhelming”, with 10 examples delivered to date.

The Series II has a host of new enhancements and equipment, including Garmin’s next generation G1000NXi flightdeck; additional storage in the cockpit; a restyled cargo doorstep to “reduce weight and improve functionality”; and improved fuselage seals to provide “even better” soundproofing and cabin ventilation.

Since its introduction in 2008, Quest has incorporated over 200 enhancements into the short take-off and landing Kodiak, including the introduction of two new interiors; an increased landing weight; and the integration of the Garmin GFC 700 automatic flight control system.

FlightGlobal’s Fleets Analyzer database records a global fleet of more than 255 of the all-metal aircraft. The company shipped 31 examples in 2017.

Quest Kodiak 100 Series II Specs

Quest Kodiak 100 Series II
Price typically equipped$2.36 million
EnginePratt & Whitney PT6A-34, 750 hp
PropellerHartzell, aluminum four-blade, 96 in.
SeatsUp to 10
Length34 ft. 2 in.
Height15 ft. 3 in.
Interior width4 ft. 6 in.
Wingspan45 ft.
Wing area240 sq. ft.
Wing loading30.2 lb./sq. ft.
Power loading9.67 lb./hp
Max gross weight7,255 lb.
Max ramp weight7,305 lb.
Payload3,355 lb.
Useful load445 lb.
Max usable fuel315 gal.
Max operating altitude25,000 ft.
Max rate of climb1,340 fpm
Fuel flow (max cruise)48 lb./hour
High speed cruise183 kTas
Long range (1,000 lb. payload)1,132 nm
Range (high speed, nbaa reserves)1,132 nm
Stall speed, MTOW60 kcas
Takeoff over 50 feet1,467 ft.
Landing over 50 feet1,508 ft.
Engine TBO4,000 hours

Information via Flyingmag.com

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A Look at the Ayres Thrush S2R Series

The S2R Series is a fixed undercarriage low-wing single-engine tailwheel configuration agricultural aircraft of all-metal construction with the welded steel-tube fuselage. The hopper is located forward of the cockpit, and the aircraft is available in single or dual (tandem) cockpit configurations. The S-2R model was developed by Rockwell from the S-2D by widening the fuselage from 38” to 46” to accept a larger 400 US gallon hopper, to be able to carry a greater volume of low-density materials used by Rice growers, and adding flaps.

Continue reading A Look at the Ayres Thrush S2R Series

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