Duncan Aviation Delivered!
Duncan Aviation Designer Carie Bruss was excited to work on this hard-won Gulfstream G550, and she found the owner an absolute pleasure to work with. Prior to signing the contract with Duncan Aviation, he had a quote from another MRO, and he compared items and costs line-by-line. That’s not unusual, but it was obvious to Carie that this customer was detail-oriented and wanted to be involved.
“We’re upfront with costs, and we know our work is of the highest quality, so I wasn’t concerned. The exterior paint and interior changes he envisioned were unique and exciting, and I really wanted to work on this project,” admits Carie. “Once we won the contract, I got to see how attentive he was to every detail on his plane!”
The exterior paint scheme is pretty standard for a Gulfstream, but instead of the usual Matterhorn white, the owner opted for a metallic black base.
“It’s a common theme, but his tweaks using metallic black and silver and the Daytona blue really took the paint scheme to the next level,” says Senior Sales Rep for Completions & Modifications Jeff Beaudette.
Project Manager Nate Maxon adds, “We painted the landing gear and wheels metallic black, and when we rolled the aircraft out of the hangar, it had real ramp-presence. It really stood out next to the other, all-white aircraft on the ramp.”
Carie says that’s exactly what the customer wanted.
“The paint colors themselves and the landing gear, wheels, and airstairs—all painted metallic black—really add to the stunning appearance of the exterior,” she says.
The eye-catching colors on the exterior were then carried throughout the interior.
“The cabin, with its rich, dark wood veneer along the windows, reminds me of the interior of a yacht,” says Carie. “To prevent the cabin from being overwhelmed by the dark finish, we used a contrasting white on the lower sidewalls and dyed white leather on the seats and headliner. All of the white tones bring a lightness to the cabin.”
Carie and the owner had some great discussions regarding the carpet, too. Although he wanted the relatively dark colors of the exterior paint, his dog frequently flies with him, and he doesn’t want the dog’s hair to easily show.
“He texted me a picture of the inside of a shoe lined in a gingham pattern,” says Carie. “He wanted plaid carpet incorporating black, silver, and Daytona blue, so we pored over dozens of carpet samples. The gorgeous plaid we selected is made of 50% wool and 50% silk. It’s the softest carpet I’ve ever felt!”
There are areas that are usually fairly standard on an aircraft: The lav, baggage area, and the flight deck, for example.
The plaid carpet was laid in the flight deck, and instead of the usual sheepskin covering the pilots’ seats, we used black leather. The Duncan Aviation Upholstery team stitched a seam up the center and back of the seats so they resemble seats from a race car.
“We reviewed the regulations regarding flight deck seats,” says Carie. “As long as we retained the 5-point harness, we were able to use the leather on those seats, too.”
The floor in the baggage area is typically covered in tread, but in keeping with the desire for a truly distinctive plane, the owner added a unique vinyl flooring with a diamond pattern.
“He also wanted something different in the lav, saying he didn’t want to lift the lid and see the same old, same old. We hydrodipped the lid, deck, tank, and seat with a carbon fiber pattern in Daytona blue that matches the exterior,” says Jeff. “That kind of attention to detail made this a great project to work on.”
The galley cabinet was refinished with a dark veneer that was offset by a floor of white quartz with black veining running through it. The thresholds are powder-coated at Jeff’s suggestion.
“Because he didn’t have polished chrome or aluminum anywhere else in the interior, we thought the powder-coated finish would tie the elements of the cabin and the galley together and create a custom feel,” says Jeff.
The countertop is made of the same quartz as the floor, and we updated and refreshed the right- and left-hand galley towers. Instead of doors that slide open, we installed a new hinge system so the doors fold down. The customer asked for special drawers to accommodate his decanters of sipping tequila. Interior Design Engineer Mike Riley designed the drawers so as not to exceed weight limits, replacing the dedicated coffee cabinet with custom-built drawers.
Structures Engineer Linh Abdulrahman designed a lift for the credenza that hides a 24-inch pop-up monitor. Because the credenza was also getting a facelift with the dark veneer, it was a perfect time to modify it. When not in use, the monitor lowers into the credenza, giving it a clean, smooth surface.
We upgraded the equipment to accommodate a faster and more reliable cabin connectivity system. The customer opted for Gogo Business Aviation’s AVANCE L5. Because Duncan Aviation is running its limited-time, special promotion, in addition to accessing the most reliable Gogo Biz network, the customer and his passengers will enjoy Gogo Text and Talk and Gogo Vision free for a full year.
Avionics Sales Rep Brent Hudecek says, “We performed some Collins Venue CMS mods, including moving a 19-inch monitor to make room for the new 24-inch pop-up LCD, and added two new Collins TC6000 touchscreen switch panels and a new HDMI input panel.”
Jeff says our team members are all committed to quality workmanship and customer service from the initial designs to the final delivery.
“This project was especially fun for us to work on because of the creative color schemes, the cutting-edge designs, and the customized interior work,” says Jeff.
“It’s a pleasure to work with such dedicated, talented teams, and it’s gratifying to see the look of awe and pride on the customers’ faces when they take delivery of their newly completed aircraft,” says Carie. “This owner wanted his G550 to make a statement, and it definitely does!”