A Look at the PT6A-42 Blackhawk XP42A

The Cessna Caravan always needed more power, and competition to provide it was established with the supplemental type certificate (STC) awarded in 2013 to Blackhawk Modifications to install the 850-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-42A in the short-fuselage 208A model as the XP42A.

Based in Waialua, Hawaii, Skydive Hawaii is using the upgraded, 14-passenger “short” Caravan for high-altitude, low-opening jump flights. The XP42A upgrade replaces the 208A’s original 675-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A.

Blackhawk began offering the XP42A upgrade on the longer 208B Grand Caravan in 2011.

Texas Turbine Conversions offers the 900-shp Honeywell TPE331 engine as an STC modification to both the Caravan 208A and the long-fuselage 208B Grand Caravan. It chose that engine, it says, for superior fuel specifics, faster power response, higher base TBO, and lower operating cost per horsepower. It has sold more than 50 worldwide. Seeing the demand in the aftermarket for more power, Cessna in 2013 introduced the higher-powered Grand Caravan EX with an 867-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140.

The next project, says Edwin Black, director of sales and marketing at Blackhawk, is to STC the XP42A on floats (Texas Turbine already offers that STC for Grand Caravan floatplanes). “We have orders for several on floats, and we hope to get the STC approved by the end of the year,” he says. A lot of owners of “short” Caravans on floats really need this increase in performance.”

Although it is a niche market for retrofits, Black notes that more than 200 Caravans currently operate on Wipaire floats “and that’s a very viable potential market.”

Blackhawk’s XP42A Caravan conversion on show at AirVenture.

Upgrade your Blackhawk with the Blackhawk Vx Engine+

Multiply your power and your revenue generation capability with the Blackhawk Vx Engine+ Upgrade.

Blackhawk makes it easy, with a quick, ultra-cost-effective installation that delivers value, performance, and enough power to impress any pilot.

Replace your tired 600/675 horsepower PT6A-114/114A engine with a factory-new PT6A-42A powerplant for like-new levels of performance and load carrying capabilities.

First it was a turboprop, now it’s a Blackhawk.


  • More Power to Take Off from Short Unimproved and Remote Runways
  • Increased Rate of Climb
  • Increased Cruise Speed
  • Greater Payload and Mission Capability
  • Greater Safety Margins
  • Improved Resale Value
  • Optimized AC Intake Significantly Lowers Cabin Temperature


  • One (1) Factory-New Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A Engine (exchange)
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada New Engine Warranty – 5 Years or 2,500 Hours
  • Choice of One (1) Factory-New Propeller Assembly with Spinner (exchange)
    • MT 96″ 5-Blade Natural Composite Propeller 1
    • MT 98″ 4-Blade Natural Composite Propeller
    • Hartzell 100″ 4-Blade Wide-Chord Aluminum Propeller
    • Hartzell 104″ 3-Blade Aluminum Propeller
  • Choice of Two (2) Factory-New Exhaust Stacks (exchange)
    • Frakes Speed Stacks which Increases Cruise Speeds up to 5 Knots
    • Globe Climb Stacks for Lower ITT During Climb
  • One (1) Factory-New Composite Cowling with High Efficiency Inlet Duct (exchange)
  • One (1) Newly Designed Engine Bleed Value Ducting System for Smoother Low-Power Setting Operations
  • One (1) New 40% Larger Oil Cooler (exchange)
  • One (1) New True Blue Power Advanced Lithium-Ion Battery for a 30 lbs. Weight Savings over Typical Lead Acid Battery
  • One (1) Each New Hawkeye Digital/Analog Engine Instruments – ITT, TRQ, OT/OP, Np, Ng, FF (exchange)
  • Optional: One (1) 325 AMP Starter Generator, Reducing Start Times and Temperatures (exchange)
  • One (1) Refurbished and Modified 4-Point Engine Mount (exchange)
  • One (1) New Engine Hose Kit
  • One (1) Factory-New Intake Tube (exchange)
  • Installation Drawings
  • STC Paperwork
  • Blackhawk Customer Support Service
  • Flight Manual Supplement with Full Performance Charts
  • Instructions for Continued Airworthiness
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada Engine Logbook, Blackhawk Logbook Case, Cycle Book, and Aircraft Decals
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada Line Maintenance Entitlement Training from FlightSafety International –  Read More
  • Two (2) Year Subscription for Pratt & Whitney Canada Engine Maintenance/Parts Manual

1 Complies with European Noise Level Requirements

Learn more at https://www.blackhawk.aero/performance-upgrades/engine-plus/vx/ 

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