ProcessInnovation in Action


Blackhawk Modifications, a leading aircraft performance company, recently certified an engine upgrade solution for the Cessna Caravan 208B. Working with Blackhawk Composites, a design team engineered and manufactured a new composite cowling to accommodate the upgraded aircraft’s larger, more powerful engine and dual port exhaust. The improved cowling design significantly reduces installation losses resulting in improved inlet efficiency.

Now in production with a backlog of orders, the cowling is part of a complete performance solution that brings important new capabilities that will help Caravan operators do more and earn more. This industry success story is also a model for how the innovative use of composites can improve legacy products while meeting market needs.

Key Facts

  • Process encompassed 54 individually molded components and 21 assemblies, adhesive bonded and mechanically fastened.
  • The Carbon/Epoxy composite materials passed 16 different tests, using five samples each, for a total of 80 test conditions.

Certification Timeline

  • July 22, 2011
    First Flight of the modified Cessna Caravan 208B with a Blackhawk Composites Engine Cowling
  • July 16, 2011
    Delivery of the first Engine Cowling for the modified Cessna Caravan 208B Aircraft
  • July 1, 2011
    Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) granted by the FAA Vandalia Office. This approval allows Blackhawk Composites to manufacture Carbon / Epoxy composite components for the modification to the Cessna Caravan 208B
  • June 29, 2011
    Quality Manual approval to new FAA requirements of CFR 21.308
  • June 23, 2011
    Blackhawk Modification delegation for Blackhawk Composites to produce21 Assemblies for the Cowling used on the modified Cessna Caravan 208B
  • June 22, 2011
    Blackhawk Modifications receives Supplemental Type Certificate from the FAA and approval of the type design change authorizing modification of the Cessna Caravan 208B
  • May 18, 2011
    FAA Approval of Site Equivalency Test Results for Toray T700S-12K material listed in the AGATE Database in accordance with FAA requirements 14 CFR Part 23 Section 23.613
  • April 21, 2011
    Cowling passed the Static Load testing exceeding structural design requirements
  • April 13, 2011
    FAA Approval of First Article of assemblies for the Cowling. The Cowling consists of 21 assemblies, adhesive bonded and mechanically fastened.
  • January 18, 2011
    FAA Approval of First article components for the Blackhawk Modifications designed Cowling for the modified Cessna Caravan 208B. The Cowling consists of 54 individually molded components made from a Carbon / Epoxy Composite.
  • November 22, 2010
    FAA approval of BCI facility and PMA Quality System

Custom Solutions

Speak with us about your performance challenges, and we’ll partner to develop a customized solution tailor made to meet your needs.