North American MRO, completion and refurbishment specialist Flying Colours has begun work on the first three Sparkle Roll CRJ200 aircraft, which form part of a joint venture with China-based Sparkle Roll Technik (SRT) the company entered into in October 2014.
Flying Colours reports that three of the eight B-registered CRJ-200 aircraft conversions covered in the agreement are already underway at its headquarters in Peterborough, Canada.
The initial trio of aircraft is being reconfigured from a regional jet layout to a mixed-class shuttle format. Each cabin has been divided into three areas: the aft section incorporates a 20-seat economy section; the middle section has four business-class seats arranged as two club-two setups; and the front cabin will feature a three-seat divan alongside two business-class seats. In addition, an aft lavatory and small forward galley will be installed.
Flying Colours says the fully executive version of the Sparkle Roll CRJs will reflect its past CRJ ExecLiner conversions, and include an advanced IFE system and a supplemental fuel auxiliary system engineered in-house specifically for CRJ conversions.
The schedule also includes heavy maintenance work. The design of the remaining five aircraft is still being finalized but it is anticipated some of them will be refurbished in 15-seat ExecLiner configuration, a style mirroring a Bombardier Challenger 850. Flying Colours says the format has already proved popular in Asia.
The first of the aircraft is due to be redelivered to SRT in July 2015, with one being completed every month until February 2016. A team from SRT has been shadowing workers in key departments at the Peterborough facility since the beginning of 2015. It is planned that for the later conversions, the interiors monuments will be manufactured in North America, and then installed by SRT technicians in China. The training of the SRT technicians formed a major part of the agreement. However, the Flying Colours team will handle the final aircraft certifications and will develop and own new STCs, which will then be validated by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
“This continues to be an exciting project for us,” said Sean Gillespie, vice president, Flying Colours. “We understand that operating in the Chinese market is not always straightforward, but our relationship with Sparkle Roll is strong and the project is progressing smoothly. Sparkle Roll values the quality provided by our skilled technicians, and we believe the agreement will expand to include a wider range of models in the future.”
Once converted, the VIP jets will be sold to individual customers and be operated by Sparkle Roll Jet, the CCAR Part 135 operational subsidiary of Sparkle Roll Aviation (Holding) Group and sister company to SRT.
“The Sparkle Roll Group is known as a leading luxury brand in China, and Sparkle Roll Aviation is aiming to be seen as the new benchmark for the business aviation industry in the Chinese market,” said Li Xuefeng, chairman of Sparkle Roll Technik and executive director/CEO of Sparkle Roll Aviation (Holding) Group.
“Our reputation for providing the highest quality is paramount and Flying Colours was selected because of its reputation for being leaders in its field. We are very satisfied with the progress and quality delivered by the excellent team and are sure our customers will be delighted with the finished products.”
April 17, 2015