The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Extending an Active Gulfstream’s Useful Life

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 @ 09:21 AM

Duncan Aviation recently refurbished a 12-year-old Gulfstream G550, giving it a whole new interior, a new exterior paint scheme, and an upgraded CMS (Cabin Management System). During this refurbishment, we also performed scheduled maintenance to minimize the impact of the downtime for the client’s flight schedule.

“Because of the reliability of Gulfstream aircraft, they continue to be dependable business tools, regardless of age,” says Completions/Modification Sales Manager Nate Klenke. “This serial number was a top performer in our client’s fleet, so they decided to give it a facelift and keep it flying.” 

A New Interior

Duncan Aviation Lead Designer Rachael Weverka redesigned the interior, proposing an updated color scheme, all new soft goods (fabrics, seat upholstery, headliner fabrics) in the cabin and a unique combination of natural veneers and colored accents.

The galley designs featured multi-colored finished surfaces coupled with high-gloss veneer finishes. The upper galley cabinets, for instance, were treated with a light cream color to coordinate with the headliner fabric.

View our Gulfstream Interior Gallery

Based on Rachael’s designs, the production teams created sleek new drink rails, and redesigned the PSUs (Passenger Service Units), adding veneer and plating to modernize the panels. Rachael grouped lights and gaspers into pods for each chair and added plated accents to the handrails.

We also reconstructed the front door in the galley from a sliding door to a drop-down door. The door is now a single piece, and it pivots with hinges on each corner so it can be angled and rotated into a functional workspace.

N755VE0003 (Small).jpgGVSP-N755VE-037 (Small).jpgBefore & After

During the project’s planning, the client requested the new design be consistent with the rest of their fleet. With a very conservative budget, Rachael was able to incorporate stylized design elements using the existing panels and structure to develop a cabin environment that was spot-on with the client’s request.

The seats pop with new French stitching (a double topstitch on top of the leather), and the extra detailing on the armrests and lower sidewalls was inspired by the stitching on the seats.

“We worked to modernize the materials, taking it from what was a bit standard and going a few steps beyond,” says Rachael. “The seats now have an ergonomic design, providing passengers with greater lumbar support, making the seats comfortable as well as attractive.”

Using two-toned leather for the drink rails made them more durable than if they’d been covered in fabric or veneer.

“We used hand-tipped the leather to maintain a soft textural feeling,” says Rachael. “It helps give the lower sidewalls a bit of visual interest as opposed to a solid color.”

Read about the rest of this project in the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief magazine.

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Gulfstream

Duncan Aviation Partners with Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Dec 03, 2015 @ 03:14 PM

3-lnk.jpgIn March 2015, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation named family owned Duncan Aviation as a Gulfstream authorized warranty facility. Duncan Aviation is the only Gulfstream authorized warranty facility in the United States, and this news thrilled many Duncan Aviation customers who had been asking us to look at adding these capabilities.

“I was happy to hear that Duncan Aviation is now a Gulfstream authorized warranty center,” says Sanderson Farms’ Aircraft Maintenance Manager Allen Ulmer. “I’ve been a customer of Duncan Aviation for 17 years, and we’ve been taking our three G150s to Lincoln for a year now. We’ve had work done on our interiors and engines, and we’ve also taken the aircraft in for inspections, paint and avionics modifications. I’ve been very pleased with all of the work we’ve had done.”

In addition to the Lincoln facility, Battle Creek, Michigan is also able to perform warranty work and provide maintenance services and repairs within our regulatory approvals on the G100, G150 and G200 aircraft. The Duncan Aviation facility in Provo, Utah can perform warranty work and maintenance services and repairs on the G100 and G150 airframes. 

3-garity.jpg“There is no question this is an exciting opportunity for us,” says Tech Rep Tim Garity. “And the nice thing is we’re already familiar with these models. We’ve been married to the G100/Astra for the last 30 years. It’s a really unique aircraft, with quite a devoted following. Mechanics love to work on them because they’re easy to maintain and the parts are accessible. And pilots love to fly them."

In order to comply with the terms of the agreement, Duncan Aviation agreed to invest in team member training. As a result, more than 20 team members from all three of our main facilities have gone through avionics and airframe training for the G100, G150 and G200 at FlightSafety in Dallas, Texas.

Other technicians are scheduled to complete further training in the coming months. Thus far, Duncan Aviation has invested more than $250,000 in tuition alone for training and more than $200,000 in tooling for the three models. We want our customers to be confident that Duncan Aviation’s technicians are among the most knowledgeable and skilled in the aviation industry and that our facilities are more than capable of completing the work they need.

“This partnership, which represents a new chapter in our long history with Gulfstream, is a source of great pride for all of us here at Duncan Aviation,” says Chairman Todd Duncan. “Gulfstream is recognized the world over for the exceptional quality of its business jets and its commitment to excellence. We are excited to begin providing our mutual customers with access to three additional facilities in the United States.”

From the Fall 2015 Duncan Debrief Magazine

The Duncan Debrief free publication is available for aviation enthusiasts around the world through mail and online. To receive the magazine, subscribe here. Have an iPad? Access the magazine through the Duncan Debrief app. Search for Duncan Debrief in Apple’s App Store and download it. Once downloaded, you can receive push notifications each time a new Duncan Debrief magazine is published.


Tags: Gulfstream

Gulfstream V Interior Transformation: Good-bye Blues

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 @ 12:46 PM

Fresh out of pre-buy, this Gulfstream V needed a makeover to breathe life into a dark interior. The deep blue and gray chairs and carpet made this large 13-passenger cabin feel dated and constrained. The customer's expectations were clear. Clean it up. Lighten it up. Open it up.

Take a look, the transformation was amazing.


That is just the beginning. Continue reading the Spring 2015 Duncan Debrief to see the stunning before and after photos. 

Gulfstream V Transformation Before & After


Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Gulfstream

Duncan Aviation’s Astra History

Posted by Kate Dolan on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 @ 09:53 AM

TimGarityTim Garity, a longtime Tech Rep with Duncan Aviation, loves aviation, but he also enjoys the people he has met along the way.

Like many 18-year-olds, he joined the military so he could see the world. Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Tim was thrilled to be stationed on a naval aviation base in Hawaii and rotate from there to bases in Thailand, the Philippines and Japan. His stint in the Navy did more than offer travel opportunities; through it, he found his calling in life.

In 1977, Tim began working in the business aviation industry. In the intervening years, industry changes have been numerous and momentous, and he has enjoyed being on the forefront of aviation technology and mechanics.

However, what he values most are the ongoing, long-term relationships he’s established with Duncan Aviation customers over the years – particularly those who own Astra aircraft.

“I’ve enjoyed working on the Astra because I know the aircraft pretty well, and I’ve always thought the Astra is a well-built, easily maintained plane,” says Tim.

Tim first learned about the Astra in 1985, the year they were type-certificated. And in his Tech Rep position at Duncan Aviation, he began working on the newly certified Israel Aircraft Industries’ Astra in 1986.

“Astras have a niche in the industry where the pilots and mechanics both really like the aircraft,” says Tim.  “Owners who have bought one tend to buy them again and again.”

It’s All About Relationships

Phil Carrell, Director of Maintenance at Cin-Air, shares Tim’s long history with the Astra. Phil went to A&P school at the Somerset State Vocational Tech school in Somerset, Kentucky, and the opportunity for hands-on experience is what drew him to aviation in the first place.

“When I was growing up in Bloomington, Indiana, my next door neighbor built airplanes in his garage,” says Phil. “It intrigued me that someone could build an airplane out of nothing.”

In the late 1980s, Cin-Air managed a fleet that included a Citation II, a Westwind and a King Air, and looking to replace the Westwind, Phil’s boss began researching the Astra. They had worked with Duncan Aviation in the past, so when they decided to add to their fleet, they contacted Rene Cardona, a member of Duncan Aviation’s Aircraft Sales and Acquisition team.

“We had worked with Rene in the past and trusted his recommendations,” says Phil. “Our boss believed that the Astra would be a good fit for our company, and when Rene confirmed it, we decided to fly over to the UK and take a look at one.”

In 1990, Phil and Tim traveled to Manchester, England, to look at an Astra SP. Based on that assessment and the market information Rene had provided them, Cin-Air bought the Astra.

Extending the Family

“We liked the economics of the Astra and appreciated its operational capabilities; it was a high-speed, long-range aircraft with a stand-up cabin, and it had all of the latest comforts,” says Phil. “The Astra was a great airplane, and I loved to fly it. It was reliable, and I got to know it well over the years.”

In 2000, Cin-Air added another SP to its fleet because they were so pleased with the aircraft’s reliability. Cin-Air kept the first Astra SP for about 14 years, and in 2004, traded it in for an SPX. Last year, they traded both Astra aircraft for a G200.

“We like the G200 quite well; it was the second in our fleet,” says Phil. “We got our first G200 brand new in 2006. Because we know and like this airplane, and it’s in the same family of aircraft, we bought a third, so now our fleet consists of three G200s.”

Despite changing the composition of the fleet, one thing has remained fairly constant in the last two and a half decades: Cin-Air has turned to Duncan Aviation to service its fleet and provide sales assistance on many occasions.

“When we need refurbishments or paint, I always call Tim Klenke,” says Phil. “My company and I have always valued our relationship with Duncan Aviation because of the honesty and integrity of everyone at the company. Honesty is paramount in our business. We will absolutely continue to do business with Duncan Aviation, and we’ve started taking our aircraft to the Battle Creek, Michigan, facility because it’s so much closer for us.”

Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Gulfstream

1st GV Refurbished in Duncan Aviation’s New Aircraft Paint Facility

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 @ 06:00 AM

Contributed by Nate Klenke, Completions Sales Rep.

On June 29th, a Gulfstream GV received a fresh coat of paint as Duncan Aviation celebrated the opening of our new, $11.5 million, 45,000 sq. ft. aircraft paint facility in Lincoln, Neb. (LNK). A small fleet of cameras mounted in the paint bays captured the GV’s transformation, highlighting the size of the aircraft paint facility and the number of technicians involved during the paint process.

We see the fleet of business aviation aircraft getting larger, which is why we built the state of the art paint hangar at our Lincoln, Nebraska, facility. It allows us to work on the largest business jets in operation. The process we use to protect the aircraft during stripping and the detail work that gets done after the paint is applied helps us achieve the high level of quality on all of the airframes we work on, including Gulfstream.

Most people don’t think of Duncan Aviation as having Gulfstream capabilities. In fact, Gulfstreams have been a part of our service capabilities since they became a major part of business aviation over 25 years ago. This GV was the first ultra-long-range business jet painted in our Lincoln, Nebraska, facility, and the timing just happened to work out with the open house for the new paint facility. The owner of the GV is a long-time customer of Duncan Aviation, and has relied on us to provide maintenance and refurbishment on their aircraft for years. They know the quality of our work and dedication to customer services. When they purchased their GV, they knew nothing would change.

In this video, you can see the attention to detail and how many people it takes to navigate a large business jet though the paint process. Beyond the hours of planning and designing of the paint design, there is a lot that happens to ensure a high-quality completion. The attention to detail given from the initial protection of the aircraft prior to stripping off the old paint, to physically detailing every inch of the aircraft, in conjunction with a state of the art facility with the proper lighting, airflow and a climate-controlled paint booth make it clear why Duncan Aviation is the industry choice for business jet paint refurbishment.

Duncan Aviation offers a three-year warranty on paint services, and has complete paint facilities in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Battle Creek, Michigan, both of which offer full design services with 3D rendering capabilities.

For more information on the capabilities of our new paint hangar or our paint process, please contact me.

Nate Klenke serves as a Completions Sales Rep. for Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Neb. (LNK) full-service facility, specializing in Gulfstreams, Citations, Hawkers, Astras and Westwinds. He began his career in aviation in 1995.

Tags: Gulfstream, Paint Refurbishment, Videos

GIV / V Water Line Ribbon Heater Pricing & Scheduling Outlook

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 @ 03:59 PM

Contributed by Doug Donahue, Airframe Service Sales Rep.

Gulfstream Heater Ribbin

This picture shows the overheating condition of the heater ribbon on a water line located behind the aft galley on a late model Gulfstream GIV. Note the sooting on the wire bundle above the overheat area.

Earlier this year, achieving the GIV water line ribbon heater upgrades mandated in Aircraft Service Change (ASC) 469 presented a challenge. Ribbon heater parts simply weren’t available to achieve the required upgrade and sparse scheduling opportunities made it difficult for operators to save downtime by combining it with scheduled maintenance events.

With the deadline pushed back through the end of 2012, operators are more able to choose their downtimes of choice and even reduce costs… if they schedule by next summer.

Firm-Fixed Pricing

I strongly recommend that operators seek firm-fixed labor pricing for ribbon heater upgrade quotes, as service centers can never be entirely sure how many ribbon heaters need to be replaced. A GIV or V could have four to 22 heaters installed on an aircraft, but even with blueprints no one will know for certain until the interior is removed, especially on older GIVs.

A firm-fixed price will help avoid additional labor charges if there are more ribbon heaters onboard than expected. Parts costs normally aren’t offered at a firm-fixed price for the same reason.

Scheduling Outlook

Even though the extension for the water line ribbon heater upgrade has relaxed the current service schedule, we could face a similar bottleneck next year if the estimated remaining 30% aren’t scheduled by the end of next summer.

Downtime Savings

Ideally, ribbon heater upgrades are scheduled with a 96 month inspection, which saves about 200 to 300 hours of downtime for the removal and reinstallation of the interior galley(s), cabin and lavatory. Other events that save downtime include phone systems, in-flight Wi-Fi and interior modifications, all of which involve interior removals.

Duncan Aviation has completed 18 water line ribbon heater upgrades for GIV and GV aircraft over the past year, and our full-service facilities offer complete interior modification capabilities. To schedule a ribbon heater upgrade, please contact a member of the Gulfstream Airframe Service Sales Team.

Doug Donahue serves as an Airframe Service Sales Rep. at Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek, Mich. (MI) facility, specializing in Gulfstream, Embraer, Astra and Westwind airframes. He began working in aviation in 1993.

Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Gulfstream

Parts Availability An Issue for Gulfstream Water Line Heater Mandate

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 @ 04:00 PM

Contributed by Doug Donahue, Airframe Service Sales Rep

gulfstream water line ribbon heater

The demand for parts is already high with longer lead times. Demand is expected to rise significantly throughout this spring and summer.

In the next 4 months, over 100 GIV and GV aircraft must undergo the mandated Water Line Ribbon Heater Upgrade. We are finding that some operators may think that this Aircraft Service Change (ASC) does not apply to their Gulfstream, but remember this rule of thumb: if your Gulfstream has a sink or galley ice box of any kind, you need to comply with this ASC. This is going to be a challenge for Gulfstream operators who have waited until now to comply.

About ASC 469

  • GIV serial numbers 1000-1499 must complete CB194A or ASC 469 Water Line Ribbon Heater Upgrade by September 4, 2011. By completing ASC 469 instead of just CB194A, the aircraft will not be subject to Chapter 5 recurring inspection requirements and will eliminate the reoccurring cost with unnecessary access and inspections.
  • GV serial numbers 501-619 must also complete the Water Line Ribbon Heater Assembly Inspection at the next 48 month inspection or comply with ASC 173 Water Line Ribbon Heater Upgrade as the termination action.
  • The new ribbon heaters provide better safety, reliability and efficiency. They are more durable and resist freezing during long, high altitude flights.

Parts Availability Issues

As we move closer to the deadline, demand is higher and parts are not as readily available as they were just a few months ago. This demand along with longer lead times for parts will increase significantly throughout this spring and summer.

Since each modification is unique to the configuration of the aircraft, the parts cannot be pre-ordered. The best way to minimize parts availability issues is to plan early and combine the ASC with a maintenance event. If you wait until August or September, it would be best to plan for a longer downtime.

Downtime Considerations

The Water Line Ribbon Heater Upgrade is best done in conjunction with an inspection that provides easy access to the water lines, such as a 24-month, 72-month or 96-month. However, if an operator did not comply with the ASC during the most recent inspection, the upgrade will have to be performed independently of an inspection and will likely cost more in additional labor for interior removal.

We have worked with dozens of Gulfstream operators on this upgrade and the experience of the Duncan Aviation Gulfstream team makes them one of the most efficient options available.

For more information, contact a Duncan Aviation Gulfstream Airframe Service Sales Rep.

Doug Donahue is an Airframe Service Sales Rep. specializing in the Gulfstream airframe. His aviation career began in 1993.

Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Gulfstream

Gulfstream Ribbon Heaters: Four Steps to Avoid Scheduling Issues

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Dec 09, 2010 @ 09:00 AM

Contributed by Doug Donahue, Airframe Service Sales Rep

gulfstream water line ribbon heater

CB194A and ASC 469 both address issues with existing Gulfstream water line ribbon heaters, and scheduling is expected to tighten as the deadline for compliance nears.

In the next 10 months, the mandated Gulfstream Water Line Ribbon Heater Upgrade is going to become a challenge for the more than 200 GIV and GV aircraft still needing this critical action.

Our techs have found more than one scorched ribbon heater in the dozens of upgrades they've already performed. The new ribbon heaters are safer, more reliable, efficient and durable, and are capable of resisting freezing during long, high altitude flights.

I expect that last minute scheduling could result in a lack of availability and premium prices for last-minute service. To avoid the rush, there are fours things operators should consider if they still need this upgrade.

1. Know your options.

GIV serial numbers 1000-1499 must complete Customer Bulletin (CB)194A or Aircraft Service Change (ASC) 469 Water Line Ribbon Heater Upgrade by September 4, 2011. CB 194A mandates a recurring water line ribbon heater inspection, while ASC 469 is the terminating action and involves the replacement of all existing installations in the aircraft with upgraded heaters.

With the terminating action, the aircraft will not be subject to the Chapter 5 recurring inspection requirements and costs required by CB194A, and is the course of action I recommend.

GV serial numbers 501-619 must also complete the Water Line Ribbon Heater Assembly Inspection at the next 48 month inspection or comply with ASC 173 Water Line Ribbon Heater Upgrade as the terminating action.

2. Find an expert team.

This upgrade requires multiple weeks of downtime to complete, depending on the location of the water lines and configuration of the cabin. A service center that has 10 or more under their belt will be more efficient, saving you time and money. Expect a fixed cost for the labor hours to remove and reinstall the interior in addition to a fixed cost to install the heater tape. The only variable cost should be the cost for the heater tape itself. 

3. Schedule now.

The best schedule, downtime and price will be available to those who act early. By waiting, you risk not being able to comply by the September deadline and paying a premium for last-minute service.

4. Be smart about downtime.

Do the ASC in conjunction with other work that requires interior removal to maximize your downtime, such as interior woodwork and refinishing, a new phone system, Wi-Fi and high-speed data.

The Water Line Ribbon Heater Upgrade is best done in conjunction with a Gulfstream inspection that provides easy access to the water lines, such as a 24 month, 72 month or 96 month inspection. However, if an operator did not comply with the ASC during the most recent inspection, the upgrade will have to be performed independently and will likely cost more in additional labor for interior removal.

Want to know more? I've worked with dozens of Gulfstream operators on CB 194A, ASC 469 and ASC 173. The experience of Duncan Aviation's Gulfstream team makes us one of the most efficient options available for the Water Line Ribbon Heater Upgrade.

Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Gulfstream


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