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The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Gulfstream Redesign: Duncan Aviation Partners With Clients

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Aug 01, 2017 @ 09:00 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.

GVSP-N755VE-020 (Medium).jpg“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.”

In addition to the newly painted exterior and company logos to match the fleet, the aircraft was the recipient of the first Honeywell Ovation CMS to be installed on a Gulfstream G550.

Whether passengers are looking for entertainment or a few quiet hours of productivity, the all-digital Honeywell Ovation CMS interfaces with a variety of carry-on devices (Smartphones, iPads, laptop computers) and gives passengers a range of controls for maximum comfort.

Typically, the cabin monitors in a Gulfstream are inset in the windows. Instead, Duncan Aviation Lead Designer Rachael Weverka’s design included one flush-mounted, 22-inch monitor on the right-hand forward partition and one, 19-inch monitor mounted aft on the sidewall over the credenza.

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After nearly two years of planning and preparation, our client brought the G550 to Lincoln in June 2016, and we delivered the completed aircraft on budget in September 2016. A client representative was on-site while the aircraft was here, and as part of the team, the representative attended the daily team meetings, was involved in day-to-day decisions, and had access to every Duncan Aviation team member who touched the aircraft.

“We like to partner with our clients on these complex projects and be transparent throughout the entire process,” says Nate Klenke, Completions/Modifications Sales Manager, “This is an example of how Duncan Aviation supports operators through the entire life of the aircraft. Rene Cardona, one of Duncan Aviation’s Aircraft Sales Representatives, helped the customer buy the aircraft 12 years ago and now we have helped extend its usefulness in a very active fight department.”


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

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Avionics Installation, Interior Refurbishment

Duncan Aviation Lead Interior Designer Rachael Weverka

Posted by Kate Dolan on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 @ 09:30 AM

In the fall of 2016, Duncan Aviation 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.

weverka.jpgDuncan Aviation Lead Designer Rachael Weverka redesigned the interior for the Gulfstream, 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.

She has been designing aircraft interiors at Duncan Aviation for the last 6 years, and recently, she’s noticed a shift in customers’ preferences. In 2010, her customers were concerned about the resale value of their aircraft, and that translated into fairly conservative designs.

Although they were elegant and professional, the interiors featured muted colors, and there were few personal touches. In the relatively small business aviation market, an interior with the vibrant colors of an owner’s favorite sports team, for instance, wouldn’t have had wide appeal. Only rarely did companies put their logos on the aircraft, inside or out.

GVSP-N755VE-037 (Small)-1.jpg“Now, owners want their interiors to reflect their personalities,” says Rachael. “The custom designs involve colors, fabrics, and textures we haven’t often used in aircraft interiors. It’s been fun to be part of this shift.”

In the last few months, for instance, Rachael has designed seats that match the colors, fabrics, and styling of a customer’s sports car, and she’s currently incorporating gold-toned snakeskin fabric in another interior.

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

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Gulfstream

First-Time Duncan Aviation Customer Quite Pleased!

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, May 30, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

Last fall, Duncan Aviation’s Interior Team in Battle Creek, Michigan, transformed the dated interior of a Challenger that had been used as a charter jet. The new owner, a first-time Duncan Aviation customer, liked the Challenger’s size and flight range and thought the interior configuration would meet his needs with some minor tweaks.

IMG_0074L_Final (Small).jpgScott Fitzgerald, the owner’s representative, called Duncan Aviation’s Completions and Modifications Sales Rep Adam Bruce, and they had a month of conversations that resulted in a quote for a new paint job and partial interior completions.

“I reached out to Duncan Aviation initially for a quote on paint and interior based on their reputation as one of the top paint shops in the industry,” says Scott.

With preliminary quotes in hand, Duncan Aviation Multimedia Illustrator Ken Reita and Adam flew to Miami, Florida, for a personal visit to show the customer design options. After seeing the designs, the customer opted for an interior makeover.

“Once we decided to completely renovate the interior, it was helpful to have Duncan Aviation’s team fly to Miami with suitcases of materials to choose from. The result of this early collaboration is a truly unique, custom airplane,” says Scott. 

Although Duncan Aviation team members take pleasure in all of our varied projects, because of the level of customization here, everyone--from the sales team to the designers, and the Interior and Fabrications teams to the Paint Shop--truly enjoyed working on this distinctive aircraft refurbishment.

“The Duncan Aviation team was a pleasure to work with from start to finish,” says Scott. “They were very accommodating and willing to adapt to our changes throughout the term of the project.”


For more details about this project, read the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief.

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

Duncan Aviation Battle Creek Interior Team Impresses Customer

Posted by Kate Dolan on Fri, May 12, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

Duncan Aviation’s Aircraft Interior Team in Battle Creek, Michigan, completely transformed the dated and dark interior of an older charter jet. The new owner liked the size and flight range of the model and was looking for some minor interior tweaks.

IMG_0004L_Final.gifThe metamorphosis of the aircraft was instead dramatic and complete, and this first-time Duncan Aviation customer was extremely excited by the transformation.

“That’s what you have to call it,” says Completions and Modifications Sales Rep Adam Bruce. “It was a transformative experience!”

Because Battle Creek Multi Media Illustrator Ken Reita felt the interior really needed a more thorough renovation, he and Adam flew to Miami, Florida, to show the customer both sets of designs. The customer was thrilled with the designs for the more complete refurbishment and even came up with several ideas for the color scheme. 

“Although the customer had originally planned just a cursory rehab of the interior so he could turn around and sell the aircraft, he changed his mind after seeing the designs,” says Adam. “This was a really fun project to be a part of, and the customer was enthusiastic from the start.”

The wood in the old interior was scratched and pitted, and the finish was foggy. The plating throughout the interior is all chrome now, and there are orange accents in the custom carpet. Adam says the new, hand-finished wood is probably the most impressive change.

“We replaced the pitted, scratched, dark wood with a light beige wood with graphite striations through it,” says Adam. “With its high glos

s, you can see gold and silver mineral deposits in the wood. It’s just beautiful how the flecks shine when the light hits the brilliant finish.”

The seats are fresh and attractive with their new, single-toned leather. Replacing the worn, faded leather on the divan is a new plush, light-colored fabric that has softened the interior. Orange pillows add a splash of accent color and help draw out the subtle orange threads in the carpet.

BTL Interior Debrief.jpg

“The owner didn’t shy away from contemporary styling—colors, textures, and materials,” says Adam. “He had a unique 

color palette and knew exactly what he wanted. Although he selected textures and hues that are somewhat unconventional for a business jet, it’s not a radical design.”

Another unique feature the owner selected was quartz countertops in place of the usual Corian. Featuring the same low-maintenance and durability of Corian, the quartz (light b

eige with high-res metal flakes) countertop has the beauty and shine of polished granite 

but is scratch and stain resistant. 

Before . . . and After

The customer arrived before the aircraft’s test flight. He wanted to have a look at the refurbishment, which was in its final stages.

“The result of this collaboration is a truly unique, custom airplane,” says Scott Fitzgerald, CFO for Petroleum Realty Corporation, who represented the customer.


For more details about this project, read the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief.

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine

Tags: Interior Refurbishment

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, Bombardier Global, Videos

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

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