Blackhawk Modifications Earns FAA Certification for Cessna Caravan Upgrade; Game-Changing’ Performance Improvements Add Value to Operations

WACO, Texas, July 13, 2011 – A newly certified engine upgrade package will boost the power and capabilities of hard-working Cessna Caravan aircraft, expanding mission profiles and dramatically improving productivity for thousands of operators around the world. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) on June 24, 2011, authorizing Blackhawk to offer the XP42A Upgrade for the Cessna Caravan 208B, according to Jim Allmon, President and CEO of Blackhawk Modifications, Inc. The company will celebrate certification at AirVenture on Tuesday, July 26, at 9:30 a.m. in Exhibit 375. Blackhawk is the world’s preferred provider of performance enhancements and upgrades for the Beechcraft King Air aircraft series and other popular turboprop aircraft.

“This is the ultimate win-win opportunity,” said Allmon. “This upgrade can pay for itself through increased revenue generation and reduced operating costs. Caravan operators will now have the power they need to take off from the most remote corners of the world, or even their local airports, with greater overall safety margins.”

The new program exchanges the Caravan’s standard Pratt & Whitney Canada (PW&C) 675 SHP PT6A-114A engine for a more powerful 850 SHP PT6A-42A factory-new PW&C power plant. The XP42A program aerodynamically alters the Caravan’s cowling and replaces the aircraft’s original nose with a streamlined carbon composite cowling that accommodates the larger engine. Other enhancements include two new Frakes exhaust stacks, a Hartzell four-blade propeller and, as always, a Blackhawk lifetime customer support guarantee. The all-new carbon composite cowling was produced by Blackhawk Composites. Based in Bowling Green, Ky., the composites specialist is part of the Blackhawk Modifications performance family.

The XP42A Upgrade Program will significantly expand Caravan performance margins, effectively doubling the aircraft’s rate of climb while using less fuel. Operators can also expect increased takeoff weight (4%), improved takeoff performance (20%), and increased cruise speed (15% or more). The upgrade also provides free enrollment in CAMP Systems’ Aircraft Maintenance Tracking Program and the Trend Group’s Turbine Trend Analysis Program.

All of these enhancements make the Caravan a more valuable and cost-effective airlift asset for literally dozens of missions worldwide. Faster speed and longer range improve arrival and turn-around times for business and passenger flights and freight hauling, and better fuel efficiency puts more money on the bottom line for operators large and small.

The PT6A turboprop engine is a powerhouse that offers unmatched performance, reliability and value in a wide range of applications. From flying into Antarctic darkness at 75 degrees below zero to supporting environmental efforts in reforestation programs, the dependability and versatility of the PT6A engine continues to earn the respect of pilots worldwide. One of the most popular in its class, the PT6A engine has demonstrated its versatility in powering more than 130 aircraft spanning the airline, general aviation, business, agricultural, helicopter and utility markets.

Operators of PT6A engines are supported by P&WC’s industry-leading global customer support. This includes over 30 P&WC-owned and designated service facilities around the world, more than 100 field support representatives on all major continents, a 24/7 Customer First Centre for rapid expert support, the most advanced diagnostic capabilities for this market and the largest pool of P&WC rental and exchange engines in the industry.

For many special missions, the XP42A Upgrade makes the Caravan a superstar. Caravan amphibians can get off the water more quickly, improving safety margins. Air ambulance flights will get patients to care facilities more quickly. Surveillance and patrol aircraft can cover more ground and stay up longer. And skydiving centers will be able to get more people up for jumps more quickly, building customer appreciation and increasing revenue.

The company has already logged 17 XP42A Upgrade sales, according to Allmon. Work is under way today at the company’s Waco, Texas, facilities, and the first delivery is scheduled for August. “Our team is enthusiastic about this program because it will really make a difference to the operating community.” Orders are being filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Caravan and other turboprop owners and operators, as well as everyone interested in aircraft upgrades, are welcome to visit the Blackhawk Exhibit 375 at AirVenture.

Blackhawk Modifications, Inc., founded in 1999 in Waco, Texas, and with facilities in Waco and Elizabethtown, N.C., is a recognized aviation leader in providing engine performance solutions to the turboprop fleet. The company has the largest installed fleet of STC twin-engine turboprop engine upgrades, making Blackhawk the largest non-OEM buyer of new Pratt & Whitney turboprop engines in the world. A worldwide network of approved dealers and service support centers complements Blackhawk’s U.S. facilities.