Duncan Aviation has revealed details of the refurbishment of a Falcon 900EX with an unusual floorplan for a returning client.
“This project was a massive undertaking,” said Nate Klenke, sales manager. “Nearly everything in the aircraft, from entry to aft, was new or required some level of modification. It demanded detailed planning throughout from the initial call to scale the size and associated costs of the project, to the design and engineering, the day-to-day management, the consistent attention to detail and the final installation.”
Director of maintenance Robert Tod said this Falcon 900EX is his company’s fifth multi-million-dollar project with Duncan Aviation. “This was a total exterior and interior refurbishment,” said Tod. “The end product was as expected, top-notch. Thanks to Duncan Aviation and the designers, engineers and technicians that were involved with this project!”
Duncan Aviation shared that the owner brought an appreciation for design and a refined style to the project planning and design phase.
“The Duncan Aviation design team in Lincoln, Nebraska, has renovated multiple aircraft for him through the years,” said Duncan Aviation lead designer Stephanie Kuhn. “He has an experienced eye for design and style and takes all of the details into consideration. We embraced his openness to big ideas and suggestions, and he carefully considered all of the team’s suggestions and ideas. Working with someone like this always makes a project more exciting and fun.”
“We began the process with visualisation boards,” Kuhn continued. “The boards consisted of concept drawings and inspirational images that created an overall mood or concept. The owner’s response to certain details and feedback helped to set the tone and refine the overall design.”
Much like the rest of the aircraft, the owner offered his creative input on the cabin seat design. Multiple 3D illustrations of seat designs that incorporated custom-quilted patterns were provided to the owner. Once the design was approved, the quilting was produced on Duncan Aviation’s automated quilting machine.
No detail was overlooked. The lower sidewall is covered in a luxurious suede with a foil-fused overlay. The custom credenza incorporates a rounded, sleek silhouette that gives the appearance of a freestanding cabinet seemingly floating with accent toe-kick lighting.
Each section of the cabin is visually separated into its own area by virtue of a subtle colour change with the seating. Yet the design is united by elements such as the foil-fused lower sidewall material, carved carpet, and stitching details.
Hydrographic capabilities in the Duncan Aviation finish shop allowed for a blue carbon-fibre pattern to be applied to the toilet seat deck. The toilet seat lid also features a custom-embroidered design.
In addition, the team incorporated new Duncan Aviation Finishing Touches. “When doing a complete Falcon interior with a couple of our key upgrades, including our Duncan Aviation-designed PSU (passenger service unit) overlay panels and our drinkrail modernisation, we provide our Finishing Touches hardware package to complete the interior transformation,” said Tracey Boesch, senior Falcon completions and modifications sales rep. “This provides a unified look with the same profile and style so that the handles in the galley, lavatory, window shades and drinkrail lids are harmonious throughout the aircraft.”
Dual-swing aft lavatory door modification
Upon arrival, the existing aft cabin/lavatory door only opened into the lavatory compartment. It was modified to swing both forward and aft while maintaining the door handle mechanism. The divider and door jambs were modified, adding a new latch and bolt system to allow the dual-swing function.
The interior team installed new Duncan Aviation-designed PSU overlay panels, teaming with avionics technicians to also install bright, energy-efficient Aircraft Lighting International (ALI) LED lighting.
In addition to the interior and lighting modifications, the cabin avionics were upgraded to enable passengers to be immersed in state-of-the-art audio/video or VPN connections with high-speed internet connectivity. Gogo Avance L5 gives passengers and pilots access to the Gogo Business Aviation 5G network, which lets passengers stream audio and video, access email, and continue to use voice and text functions on their phones.
An Alto Aviation CMS enables passengers to listen to high-fidelity audio through cabin speakers or their own headphones. The HD monitors provide access to streaming entertainment or shared laptop content using the new USB and/or HDMI connections. An upgrade to Airshow 500 enhances the video quality and added 3D worldwide moving maps, giving panoramic shots of the flight terrain in real-time.
Interfacing with the Rosen Media Input Panel, passengers can share the content from their personal devices on the HD monitors so other passengers can see (and hear) presentations, YouTube videos, movies and even live news feeds.
The upgraded Alto Cadence switch panels provide passengers with easy access to controls for cabin audio/video, temperature and lighting.
Winglets and paint
During the interior refurbishment, the aircraft also received a new pair of API blended winglets from Aviation Partners. Fitting the structures work needed for the winglets into the flow of the schedule was in the hands of experienced project manager Ryan Oestmann.
Duncan Aviation’s paint experts were also called on to paint a geometric pattern on the tail. This represents a carbon fibre pattern that has the illusion of fading onto the fuselage that features similar blues, greys and whites as seen throughout the cabin. The owner was very involved with the layout and colour placement of each square.
“On projects of this magnitude, everything we do affects other things in the aircraft, from ambience to function,” said Klenke. “New, modern sidewalls and drinkrails affect airflow and circulation, wiring and system interfaces. There are many layers of connectedness and industry regulations that need to be traversed when creating aircraft interiors of this scope. When you finally see everything come together as intended, the feeling of pride and accomplishment is nearly overwhelming. A customer who expresses appreciation and loves the final product is the cherry on top.”