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Duncan delivers Falcon 900EX with timeless features
When a Falcon 900EX with an unusual floor plan came to the attention of one of Duncan Aviation's past clients, he began to imagine turning the rough diamond into a gem. And he knew just who to turn to for help.
The lower sidewall is covered in a luxurious suede with a foil-fused overlay, adding just enough lustre to make a statement

Duncan Aviation has helped a client of old take an oddly laid out Falcon 900EX and turn it into something more beautiful.

“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. The end product was as expected, top-notch, thanks to Duncan Aviation and the designers, engineers and technicians that were involved with this project.”

The owner wanted a refined style for the project.

“The Duncan Aviation design team in Lincoln, Nebraska has renovated multiple aircraft for him through the years,” says 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 visualisation boards,” she continues. “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 visualisation board, and his response to certain details from each of them helped set the tone and refine the overall aircraft design.

The owner also offered his creative input to the cabin seat design, and in return he received multiple 3D illustrations that incorporated custom-quilted patterns. Once the design was approved, the quilting was produced on Duncan Aviation's automated quilting machine, one of its many in-house capabilities.

No detail was overlooked. The lower sidewall is covered in a luxurious suede with a foil-fused overlay. The pattern was meticulously laid out by the 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.

Each section of the cabin is visually separated into its own area by virtue of a subtle colour 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 finish shop allowed for a blue carbon-fibre pattern to be applied to the toilet seat deck. The toilet seat lid also features a custom-embroidered design.

In addition, the team incorporated new 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 modernisation, we provide our finishing touches hardware package to complete the interior transformation,” says Tracey Boesch, senior Falcon completions and 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 had wanted to incorporate for a while now, and this client and this project provided the right opportunity.

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.

The cabin avionics were upgraded so that passengers will be immersed in 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, 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 Aviation 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.

The aircraft also received a new pair of API blended winglets from Aviation Partners. In 2009, Duncan Aviation's Battle Creek, Michigan, and Lincoln MROs became the first authorised installers for Falcon blended winglets. To date, the 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.

Duncan Aviation's paint experts were called on to paint a geometric pattern on the tail that represents a carbon fibre pattern that has the illusion of fading onto the aircraft fuselage that features similar blues, grays and whites seen throughout the cabin.

The owner was very involved with the layout and colour placement of each square, and the paint team did a fantastic job laying out each individual square in just the right location.

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,” he says. “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.”

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