Duncan Aviation recently faced a challenge to significantly reduce the overall weight of a customer's Falcon 900EX EASy aircraft while increasing passenger capacity. During a pre-buy inspection at its MRO facility in Battle Creek, Michigan, a customer requested his 14-seat Falcon 900EX EASy be reconfigured to sit 17 comfortably. He also wanted the aircraft's overall weight to drop so that future round-trip flights could be completed with no fuel stops.
The final design, created by Duncan designer Ken Reita, required an STC and the help of several others to complete. Reita and Duncan Aviation's senior completions sales rep Suzanne Hawes met daily with team members from engineering, airframe, interior and customer service to discuss ideas and compare notes.
“We regularly updated detailed spreadsheets with the weight of every single item, including coffee containers and life rafts, on that aircraft. We even took out the carpet and weighed it,” says Hawes. “We pored over that interior, coming up with savings, ounce by ounce.”
The team switched out the seat and divan frames for lighter alternatives, removed a pocket door, installed thinner carpet and replaced the stone countertops in the galley cabinet with sleek, lightweight laminate. They also saved 50 pounds by swapping out the insulation in the headliner. The team ultimately fit 17 seats in the cabin and shaved 374 pounds from the aircraft's weight.
In addition to the pre-buy and complicated reconfiguration, Duncan Aviation performed an airframe 2-C inspection, EASy II avionics upgrade, and complete paint.