Duncan Aviation has refurbished a Global Express at its full-service MRO in Battle Creek, Michigan. A long-time Duncan customer wanted his aircraft to be bold and striking, much like a Citation X that the Duncan Aviation team refurbished a few years ago. The XRS features the owner's affinity for the Arctic.
Lead designer Emily Krawczak says she was given the direction of ‘Arctic camo’ for the paint scheme. She drew different designs and sent them to the owner for feedback until they landed on one that matched his vision.
“Despite regulations that stipulate how thick we can paint the layers on the exterior, we were able to achieve the layered fade and the aesthetic goals the customer wanted while staying within the requirements,” she remarks. “The careful planning of our paint experts made it all possible. The aircraft certainly commands attention, and this has been one of my favourite paint projects.”
Krawczak said paint layout specialist III Dustin Noaeill spent a great deal of time on this project, working until everything was perfect. “Dustin went in knowing this project was going to be complex and difficult,” she continues. “Oftentimes, he wouldn't talk to us while he was in the midst of planning because he liked to stay completely focused while working through the many layout challenges of this intricate design. He made it look just like what was intended, and it is absolutely amazing.”
Flight controls and layout team leader Kevin McGowan said his team came up with a completion plan for this paint scheme months before the aircraft arrived, discussing what it would take to complete the work and what the steps in the process would look like. The paint team put in over 211 hours with layout, used seven rolls of transfer material and 13 rolls of paint mask to complete the aircraft's exterior transformation.
The contrasting light and dark colours of the exterior are consistent with the interior and share a consistent theme. Completions and modifications sales rep Adam Bruce said that this one-of-a-kind interior was highly customised to match the owner's tastes.
“We provided several renderings and modification options before finally settling on a workscope that pushed our teams and, in the end, showcases all of our skills as a completion shop,” Bruce says. “New techniques in hydrodipping and finish work led the way on this job.”
The owner came to the table with a good idea of what he wanted and really wanted to stick with an interior he'd seen elsewhere. The challenge was to bring the design to life while working with his budget and time limitations. The Duncan Aviation team touched everything in the interior except the countertops in the galley.
The fully custom carpet features a tone-on-tone pattern with a geometric design, and was based on the inspiration in the original image the owner provided. The team was able to put together samples from vendors based on the images and designs from Krawzcak. The carpet captured exactly what the owner wanted.
Because carbon fibre is so expensive and difficult to work with, the owner opted for a hydrographic carbon fibre look on the credenza top, lower galley front, drink rails and card tables.
Krawczak says that hydrodipping is great because it is cost-effective, can be completed in less time and is fully customisable because there are no limitations.
Critical to the success of the Duncan Aviation finish shop is the mechanisation they developed for the hydrodipping process. The mechanical arm, which is used to dip components, makes the process more consistent and manageable for larger components, such as a galley cabinet. Finish shop team leader Chris Nelson said the arm allows for the team to dip large objects with ease because it mitigates the possibility of imperfections.
The bulkheads were painted a high gloss piano black, which Krawczak says is gaining popularity as customers are leaving a matte design trend behind. They also changed the doors on the galley to a standard cabinet door, where when you push them, then open and slide in.
She concludes: “We started working on this project long before we even saw the aircraft. I'm just really happy with how everything turned out. The craftsmanship, amount of time and the pride our interior and exterior teams put into their work really shows.”