Completions & Refurbishment Update

 - July 1, 2020, 9:00 AM
A Falcon 900B owned by Dassault and converted to carry cargo for coronavirus relief.

Comlux Completion in late May inducted its third ACJ320 neo, and the interior installation is underway.

“The cabin aesthetic is really focusing on a residential-type environment, a calming interior,” said Daron Dryer, CEO of the Indianapolis facility. Boasting “an extremely quiet” interior, Comlux is developing a cabin for the neo incorporating “large backlit Roman shades that will give the impression of large windows rather than the small aircraft type,” said Dryer, and ceiling chandeliers—“fixed, not swinging, of course,” he added. 

Delivery is scheduled for early Q2 of next year.

Meanwhile, the interior installation on the world’s first BBJ Max 8, inducted at the facility shortly before the model’s grounding in March last year, is essentially complete, awaiting resolution of the recertification process, with access panels open. “The client is fully committed to taking the airplane,” Dryer said.

A division of Switzerland’s executive airliner specialist Comlux Group, the facility is also developing air purification systems with Aviation Clean Air (ACA) for executive airliners and large cabin aircraft. Comlux is installing one of ACA’s Component bipolar ionization systems on the Boeing 767 owned and operated by the Group’s charter and management arm, Comlux Aviation, and plans to design installations for BBJs, the ACJ330, and Bombardier platforms, said Dryer. “We want to have them in our back pocket, ready to go.”

ACA is among the developers of suddenly in demand airborne purification systems. Its patented, FAA-certified system creates positive and negative ions from hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water vapor that attach to, neutralize, and destroy microparticles, gases, airborne mold spores, viruses, and bacteria throughout the aircraft interior. Integrated in the aircraft’s existing environmental control system (ECS), it operates whenever the ECS is running.

Last month, ACA announced the purification system demonstrated successful Covid-19 virus neutralization by ionization. The tests were conducted by Innovative Bioanalysis in a test setting designed to replicate the ionization conditions of corporate and commercial aircraft interiors, and found up to 99.4% of the virus was inactivated within 30 minutes.

Western Aircraft in Boise, Idaho has completed the first installation of the ACA cabin purification system on a Dassault Falcon 900, the MRO announced. “Since the Covid-19 issue arose, we have received a great deal of customer interest in the ACA Component,” said Western Aircraft's sales and marketing director Kerry Heiss. 

Western can install the ACA Component on Gulfstream, Embraer, and Citation model business aircraft.

Cabin makeovers typically imply luxurious upgrades, but amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Dassault Falcon Services converted a company-owned executive configured Falcon 900B into a cargo aircraft to carry masks and the materials to produce them. In place of the stripped-out passenger seating and furnishings, technicians installed equipment to stow and secure up to 477 cu ft of cargo weighing up to 6,325 pounds. Performed at the Dassault Aviation subsidiary’s Paris-Le Bourget facility, the conversion took just eight days, described by the company as “record time.”

Since then, the aircraft has transported fabric to a plant in Eastern Europe for the production of face masks distributed in France, North Africa, and other countries and regions affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Underscoring the value of business aviation, DFS said transporting the materials and masks by business jet is faster and more flexible than by commercial air cargo. Because the conversion involved no major modifications to the Falcon’s access doors or other systems, DFS said the conversion is easily reversible.

Constant Aviation delivered its 25th Bombardier Challenger 604 Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck upgrade. Constant launched the program in 2018, and with the pace of installs accelerating, anticipates it will hit 35 installations — or roughly 15 percent of the Challenger 604 fleet — by early next year. “The market demand for packages like Pro Line Fusion is high,” said Constant CEO David Davies.

The Fusion upgrade replaces the Challenger 604’s factory-installed CRT displays with three widescreen, high-resolution touchscreens providing 35 percent more glass than legacy systems. The package also includes Synthetic Vision, Data Link, ADS-B Out, WAAS/LVP, and the option to add Safe Flight AutoPower and FANS-1/A.

“This provides peace of mind and improves the plane’s resale value,” said Blake Hogge, Director of Avionics Sales for Constant Aviation. “With one installation, their planes are NextGen compliant with unparalleled situational awareness and safety enhancements, and they are well-positioned to operate into the future.”  

Elliott Aviation also reports high demand for flight deck upgrades—and for quick turn times. The Midwest MRO has introduced a guaranteed four-week downtime for its Citation Excel/XLS Garmin G5000 retrofit, and three-week downtime on standalone King Air Garmin G1000 NXi installations. Elliott will pay customers $3,000 for every late day ($15,000 maximum).

“We wanted to offer customers the peace-of-mind that comes with a guaranteed four-week downtime,” Conrad Theisen, Elliott’s director of avionics sales, said of Excel/XLS upgrade. Elliott has performed a dozen Citation Excel/XLS Garmin G5000 retrofits at its facilities in Des Moines, Iowa, and Moline, Illinois.

The Garmin G5000 upgrade replaces all existing Honeywell Primus 1000 avionics, including the autopilot and flight director, and provides WAAS/LPV, ADS-B, XM weather, electronic charts, SafeTaxi, engine monitor data, and emergency descent mode. Optional synthetic vision, turbulence detection, SurfaceWatch, underspeed protection, ChartView, CPDLC, and lightning and hail prediction are also available.

The King Air Garmin G1000 NXi includes an all-new autopilot, WAAS/LPV, synthetic vision, XM weather, georeferenced charts, RVSM, SurfaceWatch runway monitoring, and cockpit connectivity.

Elliott has installed more than 50 Garmin G5000 systems in the Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP and Citation Excel/XLS, and 350-plus G1000 NXi installations since that program launched in 2008, more “than all other dealers in the world, combined,” Elliott said.

Elliott Aviation offers free avionics familiarization with all Garmin G5000 and G1000 NXi installations.

Basel-based Amac Aerospace, known for luxury completions, is scoring on the maintenance side of its executive airliner business, announcing projects on Bombardier, Boeing, and Airbus platforms—eight aircraft in all.

The trio of Bombardiers includes a head of state Bombardier Challenger 605 undergoing a 12-month inspection, a Global Express inducted for a 30-month check, and a Challenger 605 undergoing a short-notice prepurchase inspection for a prospective transaction.

The two Boeing projects involve a pair of BBJs. One is undergoing a 6a-check and scheduled maintenance, in addition to having service bulletin issues addressed in conjunction with the maintenance checks; meanwhile, Amac is performing a one-, six- and 48-month check on the second BBJ.

Amac is also performing a base maintenance check on an Airbus ACJ320 while carrying out a full galley heating system modification. Installation of heating system mod will take six weeks longer than initially planned due to the complexity of the task, Amac said. Concurrently, the company is performing a maintenance check and an avionics upgrade on an ACJ318.

AMAC Aerospace’s facilities
This Global Express was in AMAC Aerospace’s facilities for a 30-month inspection.

Camber Aviation Management, Kestrel Aviation Management, and Pierrejean Vision have partnered to develop a corporate cabin for the Airbus A220, “offering cabin floor space and volume equivalent to Airbus’s ACJ319neo and Boeing’s BBJ Max7,” said Camber CEO Tom Chatfield. The proposed cabin would also integrate “leading-edge technologies and safety features equal or superior to the latest-generation business jets,” he said.

Comprising three fixed zones and four variable zones providing customization options, the cabin designs accommodate ten to 32 passengers. The fixed areas provide a common entry and galley, mid-cabin lavatory, and master suite with ensuite washroom with steam shower. F/List and Flying Colours collaborated with the partners to refine design details and perform engineering studies. The variable zones could include a large lounge area that converts to a dining room, media lounge, or private office, the partners said.

“Even greater personalization is achieved by applying the client’s preferred color pallet, materials, and finishes to create a truly one-of-a-kind cabin design,” said Pierrejean Vision CEO Jacques Pierrejean.

The seven-zone modular concept cabin is also intended to reduce manufacturing and certification costs, the partners added.

Lufthansa Technic unveiled designs for an executive variant of the A220 last year, noting the extent of Airbus’s cooperation on such a project would greatly impact its ultimate cost, but when asked about the possibility of an ACJ220, the French manufacturer has steadfastly maintained it is focused solely on the in-production commercial model.

DC Aviation Group, the German management, charter, and MRO provider, will upgrade a Bombardier Global 5000 with a Gogo Elite Smart Cabin System (SCS Elite) and Inmarsat SwiftBroadband satcom system. The SCS Elite package is a highly integrated smart cabin system that allows passengers to control the cabin environment with a single interface.

“This system allows the customers to use their own personal integrated device to do whatever they choose,” said Daniel Heidrich, sales director for technical services. “This can include checking inflight data, watching a movie, browsing the web, and making or receiving a phone call.”

In addition to its Stuttgart headquarters facility, DC Aviation, offspring of former DaimlerChrysler Aviation, has branches in Dubai, Malta, Moscow, and Paris.