Blackhawk Modifications, True Blue Power obtain FAA approval for engine/battery pairing

Blackhawk Modifications Inc. Press Release | April 11, 2017

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 27 seconds.

Blackhawk Modifications, Inc. announced that the company has received a supplemental type certificate (STC) which approves the installation of the True Blue Power TB44 (46 amp-hour) lithium-ion battery on Blackhawk-powered Cessna Caravan 208/208B models.

The TB44 offers the latest in lithium-ion chemistry, which gives Blackhawk operators an unmatched advantage in power, safety, life, and energy. Weighing just 51.7 pounds, 40 per cent lighter than standard lead-acid batteries, the True Blue Power TB44 delivers 26.4 VDC during the entire engine start sequence compared to only 24 VDC provided by lead-acid batteries, which declines as the engine cranks.

The state-of-the-art lithium-ion technology allows for engine starts that are up to 12 seconds faster and 60°F to 80°F cooler than lead-acid batteries, which helps to extend the life of the engine and reduce overall maintenance costs.

Maintenance for the TB44 is only required every two years, and consists of a simple in-field capacity check. With the recommended maintenance schedule, the battery has an average useful life of eight years–more than double lead-acid and NiCad alternatives. The robust TB44 battery also monitors its own health and contains a built-in heater for low temperature operations, eliminating the need to store the battery indoors.

“This new True Blue Power battery has a lot of similarities to our popular New Engine Exchange Program with Pratt & Whitney,” said Jim Allmon, president and CEO of Blackhawk Modifications. “We have found that turboprop operators are willing to invest in new technologies that increase aircraft utility and performance while lowering operating costs and risk. We are thrilled to align this new battery with our XP Engine+ Upgrades and are confident that new aftermarket innovations will continue to revitalize legacy aircraft and reshape the future of the turboprop fleet.”

The TB44 delivers significant value to Caravan operators. The highly efficient, light-weight battery reduces Caravan fuel consumption and improves maintenance costs up to $2,000 per year per aircraft when compared to lead-acid batteries. Its eco-friendly Nanophosphate lithium-ion cell chemistry provides cooler engine starts–resulting in lower engine hot section and overhaul expense–as well as reduced carbon emissions and easy disposal.

Blackhawk is now taking orders for Caravan operators currently equipped with a Blackhawk Engine+ Upgrade, and will offer the battery pairing as an option to future upgrade customers.

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