The FAA recently awarded Constant Aviation with contracts for strip and paint maintenance for four Challenger 601/604s and ADS-B Out installation on a 604, the latter of which will be completed through a joint venture with sister company Nextant Aerospace. At the same time, the FAA also awarded Nextant with an STC for True Blue Power installation as a replacement for the 24-volt DC sealed lead-acid batteries on its Beechjet 400A/XPs.
Constant Aviation has already begun work on the first of four Challenger 601/604 strip and paint events at its Sanford, Florida facility. The strip and paint contract allows the company to complete a full strip and paint service with other repairs as needed for three Challenger 601s and one Challenger 604 in the FAA’s fleet, while the ADS-B Out contract upgrades the 604 with a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 system. Constant has previously received government contracts to provide aircraft strip and paint for Bombardier Global Expresses in the U.S. Air Force.
“Unlike the business and private jet industry, the government contract sector has a much longer and more complicated business development and request for proposals regimen,” said Stephen Maiden, Constant Aviation president and CEO. “It requires a deep understanding of proposal specifications, the ability to craft detailed proposal responses, and the experience to navigate the protocol and qualifications for the competitive government bidding process. As such, the efforts of our government programs department, led by retired USAF Colonel Robert Leonard, are designed to tailor solutions that are best-in-class, competitively priced, and meet technically acceptable criteria to comply with the requirements of the contracts.”
Meanwhile, Nextant Aerospace’s STC allows it to replace existing sealed lead-acid batteries on the Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP. The TS835 True Blue Power model offers 24.5-volt DC power for critical or standby equipment in case of aircraft power failure. Other features include lighter weight, improved 10-year life expectancy, and reduced maintenance.
“We are proud to reach this STC milestone, and even more delighted to be able to offer this replacement option to Beechjet and Nextant aircraft owners,” said Derek Morris, Nextant Aerospace engineering manager. “The installation of the True Blue Power model is a great solution that does not require any wiring changes, so it is an easy change-out and can reduce downtime for scheduled maintenance.”