LINCOLN, NEB. — When a Falcon 900EX with an unusual floor plan came to the attention of one of Duncan Aviation’s past clients, he began to consider the possibilities and envision a diamond in the rough that could become his new gem. And he knew just who to turn to for help.
“This project was a massive undertaking,” explains Sales Manager Nate Klenke. “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 says this Falcon 900EX is his company’s fifth multi-million-dollar project with Duncan Aviation.
“This was a total exterior and interior refurbishment,” says 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!”
An Appreciation for Design
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,” says 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 visualization boards,” says Kuhn. “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.”
The credenza and the carved carpet came from the first visualization board and his response to certain details from each of them helped set the tone and refine the overall aircraft 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 which is one of many inhouse capabilities.
No detail was overlooked. The lower sidewall is covered in a luxurious suede with a foil-fused overlay adding just enough luster to make a statement. The pattern was meticulously laid out by our experienced team with Kuhn’s guidance.
The custom credenza incorporates a rounded, sleek silhouette that gives the appearance of a freestanding cabinet seemingly floating with accent toe-kick lighting.
Uniquely Its Own
Each section of the cabin is visually separated into its own area by virtue of a subtle color change on the seating. Yet each area perfectly complements the other, flowing easily from one to the next, 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-fiber pattern to be applied to the toilet seat deck. The toilet seat lid also features a custom-embroidered design.
Duncan Aviation Finishing Touches
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 modernization, we provide our Finishing Touches hardware package to complete the interior transformation,” says Tracey Boesch, Senior Falcon Completions & 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.”
It’s a feature the team wanted to incorporate with these two upgrade elements for a while now, and this client and this project provided the right opportunity. The attention the designers and experienced technicians put on detail, fit, and finish is a daily occurrence. That is what results in such a stunning interior and what makes you linger just a moment longer when you’re looking at a photo or video of an interior completed by Duncan Aviation.
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. Having an aft lav door that also swings into the cabin provides greater safety for access into the lavatory compartment in case of a passenger emergency and also provides more convenient access for crew or passengers to the aft baggage area.
The Interior team installed new Duncan Aviation-designed PSU overlay panels, teaming with their avionics technicians to also install bright, energy-efficient ALI (Aircraft Lighting International) LED lighting.
In addition to the interior and lighting modifications, the cabin avionics were upgraded so passengers will be immersed in state-of-the-art audio/video or VPN connections with reliable, high-speed internet connectivity. Gogo AVANCE L5 gives passengers and pilots alike access to the Gogo Business Aviation 5G network, which lets passengers reliably stream audio and video, access email, and continue to use voice and text functions on their phones.
Opting for the Alto Aviation CMS (Cabin Management System), passengers can 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 to see 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 also provide passengers easy access to controls for cabin audio/video, temperature, and lighting.
During the interior refurbishment, the aircraft also received a new pair of API blended winglets from Aviation Partners, Inc. In 2009, API announced that Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, Michigan, and Lincoln MROs were the first authorized installers for Falcon Blended Winglets. To date, the Duncan Aviation team has installed well over 100 pairs of API winglets on Falcon aircraft and is well-versed at the requirements for the installation.
With all of the capabilities required for all aspects of the project at Duncan Aviation, fitting the structures work needed for the winglets into the flow of the schedule was in the hands of experienced Project Manager Ryan Oestmann.
Geometric Patterned Paint
Duncan Aviation’s talented paint experts were also called on to paint a geometric pattern on the tail that represents a carbon fiber pattern that has the illusion of fading onto the aircraft fuselage that features similar blues, grays, and whites that are seen throughout the cabin.
The owner was very involved with the layout and color placement of each square. The Duncan Aviation Paint team did a fantastic job laying out each individual square in just the right locations to match the desired look.
The Final Impression
When Oestmann first saw the design plans for the Falcon 900EX, he was quite impressed. He’s even more taken with the final project.
“The veneer in the galley is absolutely beautiful, and the lower sidewalls look amazing,” says Oestmann. “There are special details in every part of the plane.”
The Duncan Aviation interior and production teams were especially enthusiastic about this interior.
“The suede covering the lower sidewalls is definitely eye-catching. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind interior,” says Interior Mods/Completions Shift Supervisor Ben Lee. “With all of the unique features, the designs came together seamlessly.”
This aircraft is a testament to the planning, expertise, and artisanship of the entire Duncan Aviation team. Everything from the configuration change to the unique design elements affect the feel and function of the aircraft as a whole.
“On projects of this magnitude, everything we do affects other things in the aircraft, from ambience to function,” explains 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.”
Watch the paint and interior transformation video here: Falcon 900EX Transformation
Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider supporting the aviation needs of business aircraft operators, government agencies, and other aircraft service providers. Services include major and minor airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit avionics systems, full paint and interior services, engineering and certification services, fabrication and manufacturing services, and preowned aircraft sales and acquisitions. Duncan Aviation also has international aircraft components solutions experts available 24/7/365 at +1 402.475.4125 who can handle any aircraft system problem with immediate exchanges, rotables, loaners or avionics/instrument/accessory repairs and overhauls. Complete service facilities are located in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah. We also have dozens of other facilities strategically located throughout the United States to provide customers with scheduled regional support and the quickest response possible to avionics, engine and airframe Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations.
For more information about any of Duncan Aviation’s services, call +1 402.475.2611 or visit https://www.DuncanAviation.aero/services
Duncan Aviation Welcomes Glyn Tookey As EMEA Regional Manager
October 03, 2023