FEATURE: Citation VII transformation at Duncan


Duncan Aviation has unveiled a Citation VII purchased through its aircraft sales and acquisition team and transformed at its full-service facility in Battle Creek, Michigan.

The work includes a new livery, full interior refurbishment, and installation of a Universal Insight flight deck, Gogo Avance L3, and USB power ports.

The business partners who own the aircraft had been jet-card/charter users until 2020 when the Duncan Aviation aircraft sales and acquisitions team helped them purchase a Citation S/II.

Leah Alexander, aircraft sales and acquisitions, said that the owners had been flying a bit under 200 hours per year, but once they owned their own aircraft, that number jumped to just over 360 hours per year.

“They were certainly making good use of the aircraft, but it also meant that the engine hot sections were coming due nearly a year sooner than originally expected,” said Alexander. “The timing of that maintenance event, along with realising they would prefer a slightly roomier cabin, led them to begin considering an upgrade.”

Finding the aircraft

Alexander explained that there is a cost involved in any aircraft transaction, so the owners weren’t looking to upgrade frequently going forward. They wanted to find a cost-effective option that would be suitable for their growing business footprint as well as family trips.

“We initially looked at Citation Excels and XLSs, but by mid-2021 the market had already turned,” said Alexander. “The Excel/XLS is a popular model for charter operations in particular, so with charter demand on the rise by that time, our clients were getting to be priced out of their preferred airframe option.”

Duncan Aviation said there are only about a third the number of Citation VIIs built as Citation Excels, so it wasn’t on the radar at first. Once the Citation Excel/XLS looked out of reach, the aircraft sales and acquisitions team started casting a wider net for other suitable options.

“In the end we saw that the significantly reduced upfront capital cost for acquisition of this Citation VII gave back room in the budget for upgrades that would make it feel like a much newer aircraft, and one that the owners would feel comfortable in for years to come,” said Alexander.

New paint

The Duncan Aviation paint team gave the aircraft a two-tone scheme with a classic white on top and dark charcoal belly, accented by a vivid orange stripe. Duncan Aviation lead designer Heather Pridemore said the customer was looking for something classic, clean and simple that is also unique. They also wanted to include their company colours in the paint scheme.

Suzanne Hawes, senior completions and modifications sales rep at Duncan Aviation, said that the new exterior paint gives the aircraft clean and elegant lines. “Heather did such a wonderful job coordinating with multiple clients to meet and exceed expectations,” Hawes said.

Full interior refurbishment

The owners wanted a warm interior that was updated, clean and modern. Pridemore said the wood is all wood-grain laminate and the countertops in the lav and galley are a modern stone-look laminate as well. The seats are a custom design with quilting, accent stitching and a new modern-style headrest.

“There are not many Citations that have quilting in the seats, so I was able to be super creative in coming up with a modern design,” said Pridemore. “The owners loved the look of quilted seats with accent stitching.”

Hawes said this was a great transformation that turned a dated interior into a clean and modern environment that will withstand the test of time.


Pridemore said this is the most beautiful Citation VII out there: “It’s just so fresh and updated. We are all so proud of the completed work.”

The owner of the aircraft had this to say: “We were extremely impressed with the work, and more importantly, we are grateful we chose Duncan Aviation for this refurbishment. The project was simply too complex to go anywhere else.”

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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