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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.
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Duncan Aviation

Interiors

BAN's World Gazetteer

Nebraska
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Buyer's Guide: Investment in fabric and veneer during downtime can pay off
Upgrading an aircraft interior is as important as making a good first impression. When passengers and guests come on board, the overall look of the interior can either give the notion that the aircraft is well maintained or deliver a shady sense of doubt that what's under the skin is as outdated as the interior components.

Upgrading an aircraft interior is as important as making a good first impression. When passengers and guests come on board, the overall look of the interior can either give the notion that the aircraft is well maintained or deliver a shady sense of doubt that what's under the skin is as outdated as the interior components.

The best time to upgrade the interior is when an aircraft is down for maintenance work. Minor changes, like new carpet, can be the most economical way to have a big impact without major expense. Whenever possible, plan several weeks ahead! Almost all aircraft carpeting requires extended lead times for ordering and delivery. This will also allow for time to perfect colour matches and procure a higher quality carpet. In addition, higher end carpet pad will allow better acoustics and extend the life of the aircraft carpet.

Skandia Inc makes a high quality carpet padding that is being used on new aircraft by many OEM manufacturers. New upholstery can also bring new life to an aircraft. New foam and leather will not only make the seats look better, but be more comfortable. Lately, leathers that showcase their natural qualities have been very popular. Garrett Leather has introduced a line called Native that has a rugged and mottled appearance.

Other exciting, new textures and colours are being produced by Moore and Giles specifically for aircraft. They vary from subtle textures to wild exotics. Finishing the seat stitching with a heavy thread adds custom detailing.

Re-veneering cabinetry is a more costly upgrade, but sometimes essential, especially for lighter aircraft (like Citations) on the resale market. Replacing worn-out veneer or laminate with a modern wood species makes a grand first impression when coming on board. Straight-grain species such as a walnut or eucalyptus are very popular for their neutral brown colour and availability of high quality logs. CPI Aircraft Interiors offers reconstituted woods that are becoming very popular for their modern aesthetic and variety of fresh tones.

For operators who want to customise their jet with their corporate logo and identity, there are many vendors that can provide this level of customisation to their products. Goodrich Cabin Systems and Booth Veneers can incorporate just about any design or logo into a sheet of veneer.

Spinneybeck Leather is using lasers to engrave designs and Scott Group Carpets can also incorporate designs in their materials. Freshen up cabinetry in the galley and lavatory with new countertops. Dupont Corian has added new colours to its palette. Solid surfaces such as Corian are more durable than laminate or stone and can easily be repaired or polished to remove scratches.

Solid surface can also be incorporated in the cabin on tables or drink rails for a more durable surface than traditional veneer. Protecting an aircraft's surfaces, whether solid or soft goods, is always at the forefront of the maintenance crew's concerns.

For fabrics, FTS Inc is offering a stain protection treatment that is being used by Dassault Falconjet and has proven very effective in preventing against wet stains. It can be applied to almost any fabric used for upholstery or covering panels, but it is best if applied to the roll of material before application.

When selecting products with any of these vendors, the most important thing is to have clear expectations. Ask about the negatives or risks of using certain materials and look at actual samples whenever possible. Plan in advance as much as possible so any potential availability issues will not have a large impact and the interior upgrade process should be a success.

Lori Browning is an aircraft interior designer at Duncan Aviation's Battle Creek, Michigan (BTL), facility, specialising in business aircraft modification, completions and refurbishments. Duncan Aviation is a well-known maintenance, repair and overhaul facility head-quartered in Lincoln, Nebraska.

No need to suffer an inferior interior

Simply visit our web guide to EBACE 2012 and see all of the companies exhibiting aircraft interior products and services in one convenient listing.

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