Blackhawk Composites Inc., a startup manufacturer of advanced aerospace composite parts, will begin production operations near Morgantown, Ky.
The project will create 20 jobs initially growing to 30 within the first year and represents an investment of more than $1.5 million, according to an Oct. 29 news release from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.
Established in September, the company will lease a 40,000-square-foot facility to manufacture advanced aerospace composite parts for Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft cowls (the part of the aircraft that covers the engine). The Caravan is a single-engine, fixed-gear, short-haul regional airliner and utility plane.
It has been the goal of our core team to bring aerospace work into south-central Kentucky for some time, and this is the fruit of that labor, Gary Smrtic, president of Blackhawk Composites, said in the release.
While Blackhawk Composites Inc. is technically a startup, our management team is certainly not new to business, Smrtic said. Unlike most startups, we will begin with a long-term tooling and production contract for one type of aircraft already in place, as well as several other prospects we are discussing with other aircraft companies.
Telephone calls to Smrtic and Blackhawk Composites' offices Nov. 4 seeking additional details were not returned.
According to Smrtic's online LinkedIn profile, his industry experience includes:
c Senior vice president of manufacturing at aerospace composites maker Dynastrosi Laboratories Inc. of Bowling Green, Ky.
c President of aircraft tooling supplier Factory Ten Composites Inc. of Catoosa, Okla.
c Work in the composite tooling/aerostructures business at Boeing Co. of Chicago.
State officials preliminarily have approved Blackhawk Composites for tax benefits up to $500,000 over 10 years under the Kentucky Business Investment Program.
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