Duncan Completes Quick Turn XLS Refurb with Hydro Dipping

 - June 4, 2021, 11:50 AM
Duncan Aviation's finish team applied hydrographics to the lavatory cabinet, vanity, aft dividers, pocket doors, drink rails, tables, left-hand forward galley, and right-hand forward entertainment cabinet in a design similar to a flat-cut walnut veneer with a gray background. (Photo: Duncan Aviation)

Duncan Aviation has successfully completed a Citation XLS refurbishment that included changing the color of the cabin’s veneer within 10 days. Because of the limited downtime requirements by the first-time aircraft management customer, Duncan made some changes to the layout of its Lincoln, Nebraska finish shop and added some specialized tooling, team leader Chris Nelson said.

Complicating the project was the customer’s requirement to change the finish of the aircraft's interior veneer components to a gray color, which was accomplished using a water transfer printing process called hydro dipping and applying hydrographics. Specifically, the color change was applied to the lavatory cabinet, vanity, aft dividers, pocket doors, drink rails, tables, left-hand forward galley, and right-hand forward entertainment cabinet.

Duncan project manager Steve Devitt attributed planning and developing a detailed schedule “for every shift of every day” to achieve the turnaround. It took Duncan two to three years to perfect its hydro dipping and hydrographics process, which required a continuous upgrade of equipment. Those processes are enabled by two full-size dipping tanks, two full-size rinse tanks, and an automatic dipping arm. Duncan is also working on building an automatic spray arm.

The XLS refurbishment project additionally included new table inserts, some “small” leatherwork, and an overhaul of the twinjet’s wheels and tires.