The upgraded Cessna Caravan modification from Blackhawk (stand 1467) is nearing certification.

The company said today that the engine upgrade, the 850shp (635kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A, bolted on to a new and hyper-efficient cowl design, is in the final stages of flight test.

European approval efforts are under way and will quickly follow the US supplemental certification process. "Some 40% of current Caravan orders are from European operators who desire substantially improved take-off and climb capabilities and faster cruise speeds," says Jim Allmon, chief executive of Blackhawk Modifications.

"Blackhawk is simply offering more of what you bought your Caravan for: power to get you safely into and out of remote locations and the speed to get you there faster. Caravan operators can't wait to get their hands on this new upgrade, and we're excited to see each stage of the flight tests passing with flying colours."

He adds: "I've called the XP42A a game changer for this workhorse aircraft - and every day as I watch the progress I'm impressed all over again. It's a powerhouse."

Blackhawk has the largest non-OEM engine contract in force with P&WC, and topped the year with over 500 engines sold. Engines are priced based on the P&WC exchange programme and generous credit is issued for time remaining to overhaul on core PT6A-114/A engines.

Allmon says the modified aircraft will have improved performance as take-off distances are reduced by around 45%, a doubled rate of climb saving time and fuel, an increase of cruise speed of 35kt (65km/h) faster and less fuel burn at original Caravan power settings.

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Source: Flight Daily News