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The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

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

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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

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

Exterior Enhancements

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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.

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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

Falcon 50 EX: Individually Crafted with Passenger, Pilot in Mind

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Duncan Aviation works with a variety of customers. The majority use their aircraft for business purposes, some have personal aircraft and a small portion are pilots themselves. A very select group fit all three categories.

Falcon50EX_April-2015When a customer came to Duncan Aviation's Battle Creek facility with a Dassault Falcon 50EX, his mission was to leave with the best upgrades in the cabin, as well as the flight deck.

"Our customer dubbed the Falcon a Time Machine, and wanted to ensure this time saver was the most comfortable and efficient tool to get from point A to point B," says Completions Sales Rep Nate Darlington, confirming that the creative tail number M-CFLY was, in fact, a Back to the Future time-traveler movie reference.

After completing a pre-buy inspection through Duncan Aviation, the aircraft went directly into an airframe inspection, complete interior refurbishment, complete aircraft paint refurbishment, Cabin Management System (CMS) installation and flight deck upgrades.

Read more about the completed Time Machine in the Spring 2015 issue of the Duncan Debrief.

McFly_April-2015

 

Tags: CMS, Airframe Maintenance, Interior Refurbishment, Paint Refurbishment, Pre-Purchase Inspection

Duncan Aviation Designer Shares Her Business Aircraft Design Expertise

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 @ 10:53 AM

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Lori Browning is an experienced designer that knows a thing or two about business aircraft. Since 2010, she has been designing business aircraft modifications, completions and refurbishments at Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek, Michigan, location.

Her knowledge of the aesthetics of the interior and exterior of an aircraft is well-known. So much so, she is often sought out her professional expertise on a number of projects and articles. Most recently for What's Cooking: Galley Possibilities, an article on AviationWeek.com by Mal Gormley. A great read about how new and traditional thinking, along with careful planning can transform a vital element of business aircraft.

Here are other articles that Lori has contributed.

Creating a Business Traveler's Cabin

A customer came to Duncan Aviation with his Global Express and requested an interior refurbishment to create a place to work, rest and reboot.

Current Aircraft Designs Feature Function & Form: Interior Trends

We look at some of the recent aircraft design trends that our aircraft designers have seen and discuss the importance of productivity as well as design.

Dynamic 3D Paint Schemes with Duncan Design

Customers now have the option to work with 3D renderings while collaborating with Duncan Aviation on the design of their aircraft’s exterior paint scheme.

Exploring "Green" Materials for Aircraft Interiors

Textile companies are creating new “green” fabric lines. The properties that make them green also make them suitable for aviation burn regulations.

12 Eco-Friendly Materials for Aircraft Interiors

A look into carpets, veneers, and other materials used in aircraft interiors to find the most sustainable products available.

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

Day 3: Duncan Aviation at NBAA—Static

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:42 AM

It is day three of NBAA! Have you been to Static?

Take a trip to the Orlando Executive Airport and drop by NARA static display–220 and check out this Embraer Legacy 600. It has been completely refurbished both inside and out with a 96-month inspection and Wi-Fi.

Click on photos to enlarge. 

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Along with its incredible physical transformation, the aircraft boasts a new Aircell GoGo Biz Broadband solution, as well as the Aviator 200 Swift Broadband solution alongside several custom additions, creating an efficient, effective, comfortable business jet.

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We also paired up with Embraer Executive Jet’s PreFlown division to develop a timelapse video showcasing what it takes to inspect and update an Embraer Legacy 600. To watch the video, visit http://www.duncanaviation.aero/videos/embraer_refurbishment/index.php.

 

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Wi-Fi, Paint Refurbishment, NBAA

Interior Refurbishment: Creating a Business Traveler's Cabin

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 @ 08:38 AM

A few thousand miles in a couple of hours—it’s an itinerary impossible to keep using any other mode of transportation.

Business aviation connects the world in a way that’s unthinkable if attempted commercially. And within the business aviation community, customers and corporations have a variety of needs. Some fly weekly with large groups of passengers. Others fly daily with one or two individuals. Regardless, this tool increases productivity and allows businesses that wouldn’t otherwise have a global presence access to that ability.

Even in a continually connected world with Skype and cell phones, that face-to-face meeting and tangible handshake cannot be replicated. That’s why one customer came to Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek, Michigan, location with his Bombardier Global Express and requested we convert it into his own flying hotel room and office.

“Our customer essentially lives on his aircraft. He is constantly flying from one meeting to another, so he needs a place to work, rest and reboot,” explains Designer Lori Browning.

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Immaculate Interior

Interior reconfigurations and design updates allow for some of the most creative modifications in an aircraft. Add Duncan Aviation’s in-house engineering team to the mix, along with the company’s Organization Designation Authorization, and we can make pretty much anything a reality.

As one of the most frequently flown Global Express aircraft in the world, this exceptionally mobile jet needed to be highly personalized for the individuals who spend countless hours on board.

“We completed many reconfigurations in the cabin to give our customer the storage space he needed for a wardrobe and everything else one needs when they travel constantly for business, while still retaining enough seating for other passengers,” says Lori.

After completing the aircraft’s required 2A and 1C inspections, Lori and a team of engineers worked to remove two club seats toward the rear of the aircraft and added an entertainment cabinet with a counter and drink ledge. In the mid-cabin area, they swapped out a single seat and work station for a credenza to increase storage space.

Along with all of these changes, the look and feel of the cabin’s interior was updated. The aircraft started with a very warm color scheme—creams and red wood—and the final scheme used high-contrasting dark wood and taupe.

With this color swap, the owner decided to add new seats, new veneer, install electric windows with a single-control panel and reconfigure the PSUs, as well as the switches.

“It was essentially a brand new aircraft by the time we were done, and there’s nothing out there quite like it,” says Lori.

The customer also chose a Rockwell Collins Venue Audio/HD Video Entertainment and Cabin Management System, an HD-capable, touchscreen-controlled system.

While adding this upgrade, the customer also decided on EMTEQ Quasar II cabin upwash and downwash lighting. It was the first time these two options had been combined, so Duncan Aviation worked with Rockwell Collins and EMTEQ to ensure the two systems operated seamlessly.

The installation also included an Alto Technologies Audio System, which was the icing on the cake.

Rockwell Collins  Venue CMS Review

While the CMS works well for entertainment purposes during downtime, for a business aviation traveler, the data network, wireless and wired options make the cabin an airborne office. 

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

Top Aircraft Refurbishment Questions, Part 2

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Sep 09, 2014 @ 01:04 PM

A refurbishment can completely transform and revive an aircraft, but those dramatic interior updates also come with a significant downtime and a price tag. Almost every aspect of an aircraft interior can be handcrafted, right down to the stitching on the seats, making each experience unique. 

Although unique projects don’t necessarily lend well to generic FAQs, a general pattern of questions do emerge from prospects looking to have their aircraft refurbished. We've gathered a few, and as the answers demonstrate, it’s all in the planning.


Do you have a design team I can work with?

Aircraft refurbishment shop that is worth its salt will assign a designer to each customer project. Our team also works with personal home and yacht designers, as well as architects if clients choose to bring their own.

It is not unusual for customers to ask to see prior projects. Your selected refurbishment ship should provide you with before and after photos to convey how easily the look and feel of a cabin with just a few updates can be transformed.

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What Cabin Management System (CMS) best fits my needs?

Once again, it depends on the answer to questions determining the current equipment installed, and to focus options on the best solutions for the customer: For example, how many people normally fly on the aircraft? Is it being used for entertainment purposes, or are passengers giving presentations and working on the flight?

Additionally, with every CMS comes a list of five to 20 different upgrades customers may wish to include. A competent sales expert will walk customers through their options to determine what they truly need, want, and what upgrades are worth the additional cost.

Watch a video walkthrough of the Rockwell Collins’ Venue Cabin Management System.

Rockwell Collins Venue CMS

Can I get Wi-Fi?

Most customers want their electronics to work in the air exactly as they do on the ground. Some fly internationally while others remain in the continental US most of the time. These factors greatly affect what aircraft Wi-Fi options are available to the customer.

“Selecting a data solution for in-flight internet is a lot like choosing a cell phone company,” explains Avionics Installation Expert Steve Elofson. “Data connection speeds, network availability, equipment costs and monthly data plans all factor into the equation.”

Nevertheless, once a customer makes a choice Wi-Fi can be a relatively simple addition.

How involved is an LED lighting update?

LED lighting has become incredibly popular because it completely transforms the cabin, and is more environmentally friendly, while saving weight and eliminating individual power supplied for each fluorescent bulb. The lights are so much brighter than anything previously offered, too.

Again, because there are several options and colors of light to choose from, customers should be paired with a designer to choose the best option for their interior and design tastes. There’s nothing worse than having your new LED lighting installed, only to find it doesn’t work with your choice of a refurbished interior!

Planning ahead 

If possible, from a timing and budget perspective, it is recommended that you schedule interior and electronics modifications alongside a major inspection to get the most out of the time an aircraft spends in the shop. But as always, plan well in advance of that event as to exactly what you need, thereby eliminating unnecessary downtime and expense during the actual refurbishment project.

Learn the answers to more unique refurbishment questions in Top Aircraft Refurbishment Questions, Part 1

Tags: Avionics Installation, Interior Refurbishment

Top Aircraft Refurbishment Questions, Part 1

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

A refurbishment can completely transform and revive an aircraft, but those dramatic interior updates also come with a significant downtime and a price tag. Almost every aspect of an aircraft interior can be handcrafted, right down to the stitching on the seats, making each experience unique.

Although unique projects don’t necessarily lend well to generic FAQs, a general pattern of questions do emerge from prospects looking to have their aircraft refurbished, and following are a selection of the most commonly asked that are received by the team at Duncan Aviation... As the answers will demonstrate, it’s all in the planning.

_4TK9071b_0412How much is my aircraft refurbishment going to cost?

When customers call about a potential refurbishment, they want to know how much it’s going to cost. That’s an understandable question. Setting a realistic expectation is important, and if the initial question were that simple to answer, we’d plaster price stickers on our products and services. As mentioned, many refurbishment projects tend to be customized though.

Although there are several steps that can be selected to modify and transform your aircraft paint or interior until it is ‘top-of-the-line’, it is also possible to stick to a smaller refurbishment budget and retain some, or most of the original interior. It’s important to establish exactly what you are trying to achieve through a refurbishment project, which will help establish how much you really want to spend.

“We do a lot of investigative questioning to determine what the customer really needs and wants,” says Completions Sales Representative Matthew Schepers. “Once we determine that, we can begin with a ballpark budget and work out all the details so the price we quote is the price you pay.”

What kind of downtime am I looking at?

“The earlier we can talk to a customer and finalize a plan, the shorter the downtime,” offered Completions Sales Representative Nate Klenke. “It’s really that simple.”

In essence, as much planning prior to an aircraft’s arrival needs to be made as possible, allowing the actual refurb process to become as efficient as possible, thus helping reduce the downtime. As an example, some customized carpets might take up to 16 weeks to arrive, so they need to be ordered well in advance of the aircraft’s arrival at the shop. Likewise, selection of seat patterns, shell panels and cabinets well in advance of the airplane’s arrival will all help cut weeks off the downtime.

How can I increase capacity and make my aircraft’s cabin more efficient?

Just about every reconfiguration customers ask for is possible. Accordingly, Duncan Aviation has an on-site engineering team and can approve a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) through in-house Organization Delegated Authority (ODA).

As an example, when a Falcon 900 customer needed more storage, space was found by swapping the rarely-used forward lavatory for a closet and auxiliary gallery storage cabinet. The lines from the toilet were capped and a cabinet built and inserted that molded around the old chute just in case a future owner should wish to reinstate the lavatory.

The customer was able to use the aircraft in a way that best met his needs, but the value of having a second lavatory was not erased as it could easily be restored. Several other customers followed suit after the initial STC was obtained.

Planning ahead 

If possible, from a timing and budget perspective, it is recommended that you schedule interior and electronics modifications alongside a major inspection to get the most out of the time an aircraft spends in the shop. But as always, plan well in advance of that event as to exactly what you need, thereby eliminating unnecessary downtime and expense during the actual refurbishment project.


 

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

Looking at Aircraft Interior Refurbishments as Investments

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

Aircraft Interior Investments

Knowing that many potential aircraft buyers don’t want after-purchase downtime, sellers are looking at interior refurbishment and avionics upgrades that will provide them the greatest return on investment (ROI). Duncan Aviation addresses this by providing some guidelines for increasing aircraft interior ROI in the fall 2013 issue of its Duncan Debrief magazine.

Duncan Aviation’s knowledgeable interior specialists weigh in with ideas to update the interior of an aircraft in “Interior Investments” on page 7.  

For example, according to Doug Roth, Aircraft Acquisition and Consignment Representative at Duncan Aviation, “Today’s buyers are looking for a turn-key, ready-to-go, pedigreed aircraft with a current inspection status and a record of who performed the inspections. Although safety tends to trump cosmetics, buyers want an exterior that’s sharp looking and an interior that’s easy to personalize with very little downtime.”

Bob McCammon, an Aircraft Sales and Acquisitions expert, agrees. Just a few years ago, he says, the trend was for business jet buyers to completely refurbish the interior so it reflected their personal tastes. “Not so, today,” says Bob. “Business jet buyers are like current home buyers who want a house that is move-in ready.”

Senior Aircraft Interior Designer Mary Lee suggests that, ideally, an aircraft’s interior color schemes, veneers, and carpet should be less than six years old. She says that busy, patterned carpets in bold colors and light-colored veneers date the interior, so the aircraft won’t enjoy broad appeal on the open market.

Additionally, she says, if replacing or completely refurbishing the interior is not an option, make sure the carpet looks like new—at minimum, remove all spots and stains. As long as the leather on seats is relatively new and the colors are neutral, a thorough cleaning may be all the seats need, too.

Another critical component of an interior is its Cabin Management System (CMS). An aging CMS may detract from the ROI, as well. Steve Elofson, Senior Avionics/Installation Sales Representative, says that today’s business jet owners, and often their families, want the same functionality on their aircraft that they enjoy in their connected offices and homes.

For more information on how to carefully and critically assess an aircraft’s interior with an eye toward maximizing the ROI, read the entire article in the 2013 fall issue of the Duncan Debrief.

The Duncan Debrief is an award-winning business aviation magazine for aircraft owners and operators. Written and designed in-house at Duncan Aviation, each edition includes articles on topics and trends in business aviation. The Duncan Debrief is a free, semi-quarterly publication for aviation enthusiasts around the world.

The Duncan Debrief is available for iPads through Apple’s Newsstand. To install, search for the Duncan Debrief in Apple’s App Store and download by clicking the “Free” button. The app is placed in your Newsstand shelves. Once downloaded, you will receive push notifications each time a new Debrief magazine is published.

Tags: Avionics Installation, Interior Refurbishment, Aircraft Sales

A Good Aircraft Interior Design is More Than Skin Deep

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Nov 06, 2013 @ 10:38 AM

Design That Fits

Duncan Aviation design professionals take standard floor plans for all aircraft makes and models, and customize them to customer styles and needs.

Good design is more than skin deep; it communicates emotions and personalities and solves functionality issues in all shapes and sizes. It is an extension of oneself and when done right, it feels right. That’s why, in order to capture the emotions and personalities of customers, Duncan Aviation Designers seek their collaboration and input in all phases of the interior design process.  

That is why Mr. Carlos Otaola, owner of a Venezuela-based Astrjet Services brought an aircraft, not only once but returned with a second, to Duncan Aviation for the same dedication and personal attention he received the first time. You can read the entire story, here in the Fall 2013 issue of the Duncan Debrief.

The Latest In Aircraft Refurbishments

View the latest Duncan Aviation aircraft refurbishment projects in our online portfolio gallery featuring the work of our professional designers and master craftsmen.

Our custom interiors aboard all major business aircraft are admired across the industry and around the world not only for their beauty but also for their durability, which is proven by our ever-growing list of clients and awards.

Duncan Aviation's aircraft interiors include custom designs by professional designers, quality products and meticulous attention to detail. Our capabilities include headliners, softgoods, custom cabinetry, articulating chairs, executive tables and more. For information about how Duncan Aviation can bring life to your aircraft interior, contact a Duncan Aviation Completions Sales Rep today

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

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