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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

Facing The Challenges of Business Aircraft Interior Customization Head On

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

Doing exactly what customers want can be exciting, if a bit challenging. However, every time they have asked, we have answered in a big way.

During a pre-buy inspection, one of Suzanne Hawes, Senior Sales Representative for Completions and Modifications in Battle Creek, Michigan, customers told her he wanted the Falcon 900 cabin seating reconfigured from 14 seats to 17. He also wanted to drop the overall weight of the aircraft so the round-trip customer flights he was planning could be completed with no fuel stops.

The reconfiguration required an STC (Supplemental Type Certificate), and Suzanne says team members from Engineering, Airframe, and Interior met with her, Project Manager Rich Jones, and Designer Ken Reita almost daily to compare notes and ideas after the initial meeting with the customer, his wife, and his aviation department.

IMG_9589L_Final (Mobile).jpgIMG_9617L_Final (Mobile).jpg

“We had spreadsheets that we updated regularly with the weight of every single item, including coffee containers and life rafts, on that aircraft. We even took out the carpet and weighed it!” says Suzanne. “We pored over that interior, coming up with savings, ounce by ounce.”

The team worked with Skandia, Inc., for the sound-proofing materials, saving 50 pounds by swapping out a different vendor’s insulation in the headliner. By removing a pocket door, switching the seat and divan frames for lighter-weight versions, and replacing the stone countertops in the galley cabinet with sleek lightweight laminate, the team ultimately fit 17 seats comfortably in the cabin and shaved 374 pounds from the aircraft’s weight!

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

Bombardier Global Express: Before & After [Video]

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Apr 04, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

Inspired by the owner’s preference for a sleek, modernized interior and a flair unique to his tastes, Duncan Aviation Senior Designer Mary Lee transformed the interior of this Bombardier Global Express from its traditional, outdated neutral environment into one of contemporary luxury.

In order to capture his vision of a sporty yet sophisticated environment, the design concept began by incorporating blue carbon fiber and silver metallic painted cabinetry in place of traditional wood veneer.

Global-video-blog2.jpgAfter walking up the Duncan-Aviation-designed stainless and neoprene entry steps, you see the first stunning feature: the custom blue LED-illuminated wine cabinet.

The owner’s passion for fine wines and gourmet cooking became an inspiration for the final galley design.

As you watch the video below, note the unique features and details throughout the aircraft. The angled touch-screen bezels and chrome inlays, for example, were designed and manufactured by our in-house fabrication team.

The blue LED-illuminated cup holders are also an exclusive Duncan-Aviation design and were incorporated into the drinkrail to complement the ambient blue floor lighting.

The blue carbon fiber served as the unifying element to achieve balance throughout the cabin and the focal point on the bulkhead dividers.

If you would like to see what this Bombardier Global Express looked like before this transformation, read the Fall 2016 Duncan Debrief article.

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Videos, Bombardier Global

How Your Aircraft's Interior Affects Business Aircraft Resale Values

Posted by Bob McCammon on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Duncan Aviation Falcon 2000 Interior RefurbishmentPeople tend to judge how a business jet has been maintained by looking at the condition of the cabin. Prospective buyers and clients will hesitate if a jet appears to be in less than good repair. Yet, interior maintenance tends to be dismissed as a merely aesthetic or unnecessary expense.

The importance of an interior modification’s appearance varies by how an aircraft is used, and if it will be sold. Aircraft that are reserved for private or corporate use might postpone interior touchups until the next major refurbishment. By contrast, aircraft that are chartered tend to target the interior appearance as a much higher priority for passenger comfort and appeal.

The rationale for chartered aircraft is a well-maintained interior looks clean and feels more comfortable, and passengers feel more confident with how the aircraft has been handled and cared for. The same principle applies to selling an aircraft.

A worn or abused interior leads prospective buyers to question how the rest of the airplane has been maintained. When preparing to list an aircraft for sale, maintaining high-wear areas like armrests, entry door step treads and the galley help make a favorable impression with a buyer.

First impressions make a big difference in the sale. A well-maintained interior will help a business jet sell faster at a better price, and the broker or selling agent won’t have to make excuses for it.

Duncan Aviation’s aircraft acquisition and consignment representatives are among the most experienced in the industry, and are known for their dedication to the interests of their clients. For advice on how to keep your aircraft interior looking new without the expense and downtime of a complete interior refurbishment, request a phased interior maintenance schedule at www.DuncanAviation.aero/interior.

This article was contributed by Bob McCammon. Bob McCammon is a long-time Duncan Aviation team member, starting in the Line Department in 1968. He has since worked in a variety of areas and moved to Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions in 1992. He enjoys working with customers who are buying and selling aircraft, getting to know them and their companies. He loves that so many turn into repeat customers when they sell or upgrade.

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Aircraft Sales

Duncan Aviation & The Art of Minimizing Downtime

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, May 26, 2016 @ 10:24 AM

Simplifying A Puzzle of Complexity

Puzzle.jpgEver put together a 1,000 piece puzzle? How about one with no straight-edges or picture on the box? What if you only had a couple of hours to finish and the pieces kept changing shape? Sounds a little daunting, if not impossible doesn’t it. Yet this is a daily scenario at Duncan Aviation.

Getting Downtime…Down

Operations Planning Coordinators, Brian Barto, Doug Schmitt, and Jason Kinnan have the difficult job of identifying and pulling together all the loose pieces of every aircraft maintenance event at our Battle Creek, MI, Lincoln, NE, and Provo, UT, facilities to determine an appropriate downtime. On any given day, they may have 35-40 schedules to plan.

They are only able to do this with the help of a very skilled team members who are aware of every shop’s maintenance capabilities and the capacity of work that can be expected. They communicate directly with Project Managers, Team Leaders, and Tech Reps.

They know the work required, the manpower necessary, and the time needed to satisfy the customer’s need for the shortest downtime, while maintaining the quality of work they expect from us.

Read more Duncan Aviation Airframe Maintenance

Hitting the Ground Running

Because of the hard work these teams do prior to every customer’s arrival, all the factory-trained technicians assigned are knowledgeable and well-prepared to begin work immediately upon touchdown with all necessary tools and parts assembled. This is a result of hours of team members being in constant communication with each other, making sure that all work is done in the most efficient time, with no overlaps and minimal interruptions.

“We are very aware that downtime is of high importance to customers. That makes it a high priority to us, as well,” says Shawn Busby, Project Manager. “Because we are a full-service maintenance facility, we have the advantage of doing all that is required under one roof in the shortest amount of time. It also requires a higher level of communication and teamwork so we are able to reduce downtime, increase efficiency and save our customers money.”

Read more Duncan Aviation Avionics Install

Unmatched

“Our engine capabilities are so inclusive that other FBO operations use Duncan Aviation engine team members to support them,” said Mike Bernholtz, Turbine Engine Service Sales Rep. “It is difficult for them to match our expertise, capabilities and downtime with our factory authorizations for Honeywell TFE731, HTF7000 and APUs; Pratt & Whitney 300 series, 500 series, 600 series, JT15, and PT6; Williams International and General Electric CF34.”

Read more Duncan Aviation Turbine Engine Services

You Get What You Pay For

We understand that budgets are tight and you want the best value, but don’t mistake the lowest price tag as your best option. When it comes to considering an MRO for aircraft paint or interior refurbishment work, you really do get what you pay for. “We have seen customers go with the lowest offer in order to save money. But end up having to pay more for services their chosen facilities are incapable of providing,” says Suzanne Hawes, Completions Sales Rep.

Read more Duncan Aviation Interior Completions

“In the case of hidden damage and corrosion, if the low-cost service provider does not have engineering and structural capabilities, the customer ends up having to hire a separate engineering consultant to assess the damage. And potentially even a third facility to do the structural repairs..  

At Duncan Aviation we have the experience, that if the damage is beyond tolerance, we work directly with the OEMs to create a repair disposition and have a structures team able to complete the repairs in-house.

Read more Duncan Aviation Aircraft Paint Services

We Have Anticipated Your Needs

There is no simple solution to keeping an aircraft airworthy. The regularly scheduled maintenance events and those that are not expected all add to the cost of doing business by air. As an aircraft operator as well as a service provider, Duncan Aviation understands the daily complexities and has already anticipated your needs before you have.

We make it our business to take the complicated puzzle of aircraft operation and ownership and make it as simple as possible for you.

The best and most economic choice for maintenance events, all the time, every time, is Duncan Aviation. The years of experience and the long list of capabilities at all of our facilities has proven that when we promise to do a job, we are promising to deliver on time, at a fair price, and with the highest quality of work.

This isn’t a random guess disguised as a promise; it is the expert opinion of team members who make it their job to know.

Tags: Engine Maintenance, Airframe Maintenance, Interior Refurbishment, Aircraft Paint

An Interior For The Albatross

Posted by Kate Dolan on Fri, Mar 04, 2016 @ 01:15 PM

N51ZD8807_Custom.jpgIn April 2015, the 61-year-old amphibious aircraft landed at Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Nebraska, facility to get fitted with its new interior—or, more accurately, an interior.

In addition to installing sound-dampening materials, the production team, following the plans of the owner’s (Joe Duke) designer, Bruce Shoemaker of SDesign.aero, put in numerous passenger accommodations. The crew built two galleys, a lav and interior panels and installed LEDs, USB plugs, dome and task lighting and new gaspers. They updated the cockpit with side ledges and a workstation.

“It’s evident that everyone here at Duncan Aviation cares. The attention to detail is unmatched,” says Joe. Gesturing toward the galley, he adds, “Look at the quality of the cabinetry, and they were difficult to build.”

Our time-lapse video captures the progression from the pristine but empty cabin and cockpit to the newly completed aircraft interior, designed to invoke the style and materials used in the period in which the Albatross was produced.

Watch Video Now

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Videos

The Interior Shop Helped Duncan Aviation Transition From Sales To Service

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Jan 26, 2016 @ 12:42 PM

1982 had barely flipped a calendar page when Duncan Aviation opened its brand spankin’ new Interior shop, and 19-year-old Matt Spain was one of the shop’s first five employees.

1982MattSpain-employee-ID_SM.jpgHe’d been working for a company that refurbished aircraft interiors in 1981 when his good friend Chip Mosley encouraged him to take a look at Duncan Aviation.

Matt liked what he saw, was hired by Bob McCammon. Matt began his career here on June 22, 1981 in the Paint shop, and he moved to the new Interior shop a few months later when it opened.

“On the day the new Interior shop opened its garage door, I was there,” says Matt. “We didn’t yet have a Design Center or a Cabinet shop, and we mostly did soft good replacement and Interior repairs. We fixed broken seats, hinges and armrests and installed carpet, headliners and side ledges. And we sewed. We all knew how to sew, or we learned on the job.”

Matt, who will celebrate his 34th anniversary with Duncan Aviation in June, is the only one of the original Interior shop employees who’s still at Duncan Aviation. Housed in a garage in one of the old hangars, Matt worked with Ray Butkus, Arnold Goodlett, Dennis Hansen and Mike Harris, and Mike Winters supervised the small staff.

“Ray and Arnold wereMatt-Spain_sm.jpg the upholstery specialists, Mike could do a little of everything, and I focused on completions and modifications,” says Matt.

During those early years, the guys in the Interior shop worked on primarily 25 and 30 series Learjets, Jetstars and Sabreliners. The biggest aircraft they touched was a GII.

“In addition to the fact that I got to work on an airplane, I loved working with my hands and seeing the difference between before and after,” says Matt. “It is so rewarding to see the look on owners’ faces when they pick up their aircraft and say ‘Wow! You guys are really good at what you do!’”

Cabinet work was outsourced to Dwight Moody’s cabinet shop in the Haymarket. In 1983, Duncan Aviation bought that cabinet shop and many of its employees became Duncan Aviation employees. Gerry Hilde, who retired in October 2015 after 32 years, was one of the original Cabinet shop employees who transitioned to Duncan Aviation after the acquisition.

Around that time, the Interior shop and the newly acquired Cabinet shop moved from the garage to the backside of the LAI hangar (now Hangar C). Duncan Aviation also hired Interior Master Finish Specialist Steve Reznick as its first finish guy. 

“Before Steve, we did whatever we could to get by,” says Matt. “He knew and taught us materials, products and methods that we just didn’t know. Steve showed us how to match stains and fix damaged areas, he introduced a whole new interior painting system and he taught us about faux finishing, too. He knew clear coats and materials that worked on wood. With his knowledge and experience, Steve took the shop to a whole new level.”

In 1985, Matt transitioned to the Interior shop Team Leader, and he says he was a man on a mission.

“As a brand new Team Leader I was a hard driver focused on getting aircraft finished and delivered on time,” says Matt. “I was learning how to be a manager and how to conduct business in a professional manner, but I had high expectations. I worked right alongside my team, but if we were told something had to be done by Friday, I’d make sure it was done by Friday no matter how many hours we had to work.”

As Duncan Aviation’s reputation grew in the industry and the Interior shop grew (by roughly 18% each year), Matt grew professionally. He was managing the Interior shop, was married and had two children, and Skip Madsen and John Slieter encouraged Matt to go to college. With tuition assistance from Duncan Aviation, Matt went to Doane College and graduated with a degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in management.

“It was an interesting time, but my education was timely and extremely valuable,” says Matt. “I was insanely busy, but I’d go to school at night and apply the principles I had learned the next day on the floor.”

Matt began managing the Interior shop in 1991, and he oversaw the growth of the production team from 35 people to more than 200, with 28 team leaders. As business picked up and aircraft transitioned from small to mid-sized cabins, the Interior shop outgrew its space.

Members of the Interior shop, including Matt, were called upon to submit their ideas to Tectonic Management Group who asked for our input on the design and layout of the new shop. In 2001, on the day President George W. Bush was inaugurated, the Interior shop opened in its current location in Hangar D.

In 2007, Matt left the Interior shop to work with our NetJets Program.  He transitioned to Project Manager in 2009 and then on to Paint and Interior sales in 2010. He spent nearly 30 years on the production side, managing and building teams.  When Mike Minchow, then Manager of NetJets and Sales, asked him to join the sales team, Matt jumped at the opportunity.

“I often thought sales would be a good next step for me” says Matt, and he credits Senior Sales Representative in Completions and Modifications Service Sales Tracey Boesch for teaching him the art of selling interiors for Embraer and Bombardier aircraft, even though she specializes in sales for Dassault Falcons and Learjets.

“I love sales, and it’s been a welcome change from managing people,” says Matt. “The experience of working on the floor and managing people has given me an advantage in sales, though. I know what we’re capable of, and I know what questions to ask. From a customer’s perspective, the whole process should be seamless from proposal to production. In order to offer that kind of experience, it’s important that we sales people ask the production folks a lot of questions. Learn from them; let them help you when you’re writing a quote. Go and ask them questions.”

During Matt’s tenure with Duncan Aviation, the Interior shops’ capabilities grew from the original handful of airframes to dozens, including Falcon, Gulfstream, Global, Challenger, Hawker, Citation, Learjet, Embraer, Hawker, King Air, Astra/Westwinds, and more.

The Interior Mods/Completions shop is in Manager Jared Stauffer’s capable hands now, and in partnership with the Duncan Aviation Design Center, offers custom designs by professional designers, quality products and meticulous attention to detail. Over the years, the Interior shop has evolved from its humble beginnings to a production crew that’s capable of refurbishing headliners, building custom cabinets, upholstering chairs and divans, constructing executive tables, and much more.

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, 60th Anniversary

Caring for the Wool Carpet in your Business Aircraft

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 @ 03:01 PM

Choosing wool carpet for the interior of your business aircraft is an investment that will keep your cabin interior looking pristine for years to come. In order to keep it looking and performing at its best, regular cleaning is necessary.

The following information is an informal guide to the maintenance of your wool carpet. It is by no means a comprehensive list of methods for cleaning. Always consult the manufacturer's guide to cleaning.

SOLUTION CHART FOR WOOL CARPETS
Type of Stain Treatment
Alcohol Blot with cold water
Bleach Blot with cold water as soon as possible
Blood Blot with cold water and/or vinegar solution
Butter Blot with cold water and/or vinegar solution
Candle Wax Lay absorbent cloth over wax and lift out with warm iron
Chewing Gum Chill with aerosol freezing agent or ice in a plastic bag, pick or break away gum and/or blot with solvent
Chocolate Blot with cold water and/or vinegar solution
Coffee Blot with cold water and solvent
Cooking Oils Blot with solvent
Cream Blot with solvent
Egg Blot with vinegar solution
Felt Tip Pen Blot with clear nail polish remover-acetone, alcohol or methylated spirits mineral turpentine
Floor Wax Blot with solvent
Fruit Juice Blot with cold water and/or vinegar solution
Furniture Polish Blot with detergent, ammonia solution or solvent
Gravy/Sauces Blot with cold water and/or vinegar solution
Ink (Fountain Pen) Blot with clear nail polish remover-acetone, alcohol or methylated spirits mineral turpentine
Ink (Ball Pen) Blot with clear nail polish remover-acetone, alcohol or methylated spirits mineral turpentine
Ketchup Blot with vinegar solution
Lipstick Blot with solvent  
Milk Blot with cold water
Mustard Blot with vinegar solution
Nail Polish Blot with clear nail polish remover-acetone and/or vinegar solution
Oil and Grease Blot with solvent
Paint (latex) Blot with detergent, ammonia solution or solvent
Paint (oil) Blot with detergent, solvent or methylated spirits mineral turpentine
Rust Blot with solvent and/or rust remover
Salad Dressing Blot with solvent
Shoe Polish Blot with solvent
Soft Drinks Blot with cold water
Soot Blot with solvent
Tar Blot with solvent
Tea Blot with cold water and/or solvent
Urine Blot with cold water and/or vinegar solution
Vomit Blot with vinegar solution
Wine Blot with cold water or absorbent powder

Click to edit your new post...

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

Making a 14 Year Old Falcon 900 New Again

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

It was a massive amount of work completed in a short amount of time. However, it still delivered on time and squawk-free with a transformation nothing short of spectacular. 

When this Falcon 900B arrived at Duncan Aviation, the interior workscope completely changed at the last minute, allowing very little time to preplan the changes and nearly nothing for material lead time.

We think we nailed it. What do you think? 

Interior Transformation

Before and after

Falcon900B_1Falcon900B_2

Left-hand aft divan added replacing two club seat and a closet. Read the 2015 Spring Duncan Debrief for more interior before and after photos.

"This was a very large project with little planning time. As quickly as this project came together, I was extremely impressed with how the individual shops at Duncan Aviation responded and prepared. Everyone involved acted with a sense of urgency and had a positive attitude. It is remarkable to see a project of this magnitude come together, a true testament of hard work and commitment. Thanks to everyone involved for putting in the time and effort to make this a successful project. The owners of this aircraft are extremely thrilled with the outcome as all expectations were exceeded!" 
-Chief Pilot Franciso Angarita

Avionics Upgrade

Falcon900B_5

 EFIS to CDS/R. Read the 2015 Spring Duncan Debrief for the complete list of avionics upgrades.

Exterior Enhancements

Falcon900B_3Falcon900B_4

New LoPresti BoomBeam landing lights. Complete new exterior paint scheme. Read the 2015 Spring Duncan Debrief for more exterior enhancements. 

Tags: Avionics Installation, Interior Refurbishment, Falcon

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.

Blues1Blues2

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

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