Elliott offers King Air upgrade

 - September 21, 2006, 5:36 AM

Elliott Aviation has introduced an interior upgrade kit that it says can morph that aging King Air 200 cabin into the equivalent of that of a new [but larger] King Air 350.

Elliott launched the program early last year, and, according to interiors manager Jude Zimmerman, “We’ve already done three King Air 200s and one older King Air 300.” Two more King Air 200s are due in for an inner facelift this spring.

The upgrade begins with a complete gutting of the cabin and installation of Elliott’s sound-management system, the same system Raytheon installs in its new King Air 350s. Also standard in the upgrade is a newly designed sidewall kit with armrests and card table and leather, fully berthable executive/VIP seats from B/E Aerospace with custom foam buildup and upholstery. A refreshment galley is just aft of the pilot-side forward bulkhead. An enclosed aft lavatory includes a belted toilet seat certified for takeoff and landing.

A choice of interior layouts includes one with five executive seats and a two-place side-facing divan and one with six executive seats.

The choice of options takes the upgrade well beyond “nice.” There is custom carpeting, an aft vanity, wood veneer cabinetry rather than laminate, LED overhead lighting, a choice of high-end metal plating, modified window panels with MSA window shades, and an entertainment system with Airshow’s moving-map display, a DVD player and a bulkhead-mounted 10.4-inch monitor.

When the designers began work on the new interior, the marching orders included a weight reduction. The new seats alone represent a weight reduction of about 48 pounds, and the LED lighting saves another 50 pounds, thanks to changes in the headliner. The total weight loss is about 180 pounds, equivalent to the weight of another passenger, said Zimmerman.

The standard cabin upgrade is available for about $200,000, not including exterior paint, which adds $30,000, depending on the complexity of the design and the type of paint used. Stripping, preparation and painting is done at Elliott’s new paint shop. Including exterior paint, the downtime for a typical King Air 200 upgrade (including major inspection) is about six weeks.

While ramping up its King Air interior upgrade work, Elliott is also finding more business as a Raytheon outsource shop, painting some green King Airs and “doing some highly customized interiors with custom carpeting, special leathers and silks.”

Zimmerman said the King Air program is part of an overall strategy by the company to strengthen its profit centers.  

In addition to King Airs, Elliott has been doing interior refurbishments on Hawkers, Beechjets, Falcons and Citations. The latest aircraft to arrive for a major cabin refurbishment was a Citation X.