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New modification program for Cessna Caravan 208B approved by FAA

July 22, 2011, 03:50 pm

Blackhawk Modifications has received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to upgrade the Cessna Caravan 208B. Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) are awarded to applicants when the FAA approves a request to modify an aircraft's original design.

The STC allows Blackhawk Modifications to replace the standard engine of the Caravan with a more powerful variety, aerodynamically remodel the plane's cowling, add two new exhaust stacks, upgrade the nose propeller and change the Caravan's nose to a carbon composite.

The entire upgrade program is called the XP42A. Experts expect that pilots will experience an increased takeoff weight, better takeoff performance and a higher cruise speed.

Jim Allmon, president and CEO of Blackhawk Modifications, said, "This is the ultimate win-win opportunity. 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."

If the program is successful, the increased safety of the Caravan could help aircraft owners find lower pilot life insurance rates. In 2010, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association reports that there were 1,384 general aviation accidents in the United States, a decrease from 1,474 in 2009.

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