North American MRO and completions business Flying Colours has opened its newest, largest and most advanced paint preparation and application facility, based at its headquarters in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
The new facility gives Flying Colours the capacity to paint any size business aircraft, including Bombardier Global 7500 and Gulfstream G700 types, as well as narrow-body executive airliner types such as the ACJ220 and BBJ737-900. The first paint job is already in process, on a Bombardier Global aircraft.
Fully computerised and climate controlled, the pressurised cross-draft paint booth is 138ft (42m) wide and 158ft (48m) deep, with the tail height reaching 55ft (16.7m). The new booth is equipped with 168 energy-efficient lights that simulate natural daylight to optimise paint colour matches and visibility for technicians.
The sanding, paint, purge and cure application sequence is designed to reduce environmental impact through air recirculation and exhaust systems. Flying Colours says using these decreases the amount of heat needed to operate, while reducing paint emissions released into the air.
The expanding team of paint technicians can offer a variety of paint techniques, including electro-static applications. The business is also using the opportunity to move away from chromate primers to non-chromate products, to deliver improved specifications. It says this approach will improve the paint finish, reduce waste and make a positive impact on workers’ health and environmental protection.
The inauguration of the paint facility represents the start of operations in the new C$25m (US$17.2m) hangar. When phase two completes, which is anticipated in late Spring 2020, the 100,000ft² (9,290m²) extension of the Peterborough headquarters will enable Flying Colours to accommodate the increasing number of clients requesting maintenance, interior modifications, avionics upgrades and paint work to be performed simultaneously. The ability to run projects in parallel reduces downtime, maximises budget and ensures projects complete on time.
“We are in a strong growth period and the additional paint shop adds real value to our existing paint facilities,” said John Gillespie, president and CEO of Flying Colours. “Once the entire expansion is complete, this fourth paint shop will support our strategy for providing complementary aviation services, at an even greater scale, in one location.”