Even during the worst days of the recent recession, the demand for aircraft exterior paint remained relatively strong. Some completion and refurbishment shops even expanded their paint capability during this period. Elliott Aviation was one such shop.
The Moline, Ill. company opened a new completions facility in February 2003 with a 5,600-sq-ft downdraft paint booth as the centerpiece. The booth was designed to accommodate aircraft as large as the Challenger 604, and the decision is proving sound. Elliott delivered its first Challenger 600 with full exterior paint in December and is now working on the second Challenger, a 601.
According to Jace Stone, v-p of sales and marketing, “Airplanes the size of the Challenger were never our target market, but with the new paint shop, we’re selling to the large-cabin class, and it’s paying off nicely.”