ABACE Convention News

Challenger is a Carbon Fiber Masterpiece for Flying Colours

 - April 14, 2014, 6:15 AM


A contract from a Hong Kong-based owner of a Bombardier Challenger 850 has given Flying Colours Corp. the opportunity to develop its first cabin interior entirely made from carbon fiber. The aircraft was delivered after 16 weeks of work just before this year’s ABACE show, where the Canada-based maintenance, completions and refurbishment specialist is exhibiting (Booth H606).

The client worked with Flying Colours to specify the use of carbon fiber materials to give the cabin an innovative, modern look. The mainly black and gray surfaces are complemented by ebony hardwood veneer accents. The seats have been finished in white leather upholstery, with different fabrics used for the divans.

The Challenger is configured to seat 16 passengers in three cabin sections: the forward area featuring four club seats, the mid-section having a divan opposite standard double seats to create a meeting area, and the third area to the rear with a half-club layout with a berthing divan, beyond which is the rear lavatory.

The cabin is equipped with a flight entertainment system featuring 22-inch widescreen displays and the Rockwell Collins Airshow 4000 system, with software modified for the Asian region. SwiftBroadband connectivity supports inflight phone and wireless Internet service. According to Flying Colours vice president Eric Gillespie, Asian clients have particularly high expectations when it comes to inflight connectivity and entertainment systems.

“This is the first time we’ve worked so extensively with carbon fiber on the interior of an aircraft,” said Gillespie. “The client chose the material for purely aesthetic reasons and where you would normally only use wood veneer, for example the tables, galleys, bulkheads, hand rails, lavatory vanities and toilet enclosures, we’ve used carbon fiber.” While Flying Colours has previously used carbon fiber for interiors, this has mainly been as no more than an accent to complement the main interior materials.

“The counter tops are black and white, the divan is cherry red, the black carpet features a white ‘branches’ splinter pattern,” explained Gillespie. “It really is quite unique and we are extremely proud to have created such a stunning interior.”

According to Flying Colours, it has seen growing demand for its CRJ ExecLiner program for converting regional airliners into private jets and also for its Challenger 850 completions capability. It also is currently working on the refurbishment of a Challenger 604 model for a Chinese customer.

By the end of the third quarter of 2014, the company’s new interior refurbishment and reconfiguration facility in Singapore will be fully operational. Its new Asian subsidiary will be based within Bombardier’s own new service center at Singapore’s Seletar Airport. The new facility will undertake a full range of interiors services including preliminary inspections, interior removals and installation, repairs, modifications and refurbishment. The main focus will be on supporting Bombardier aircraft registered in China, as well as in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.

Flying Colours is preparing to start recruiting local staff in Singapore. They will receive support and training from colleagues based in the company’s headquarters at Peterborough, Ontario. This month, it is beginning the first phase of an expansion program at the headquarters site, with the addition of a new 20,000 square foot hangar and an upgrade to its painting facilities.