Duncan Aviation completes Challenger CL-604
Duncan Aviation has revealed the new owner of a CL-604 has taken delivery of what is said to be a new aircraft, after extensive refurbishment. The customised CL-604 has received upgrades to its multiple avionics systems, a new interior and new exterior paint.
Facing obsolescence issues with multiple avionics systems, the new owner opted for safety, upgrading certain systems and installing new for others. In addition to the new avionics systems, Vik Saini, president, Air Partners, who manages the CL-604 for the new owner, contacted Duncan Aviation Completions and Modifications Sales representative Tiffany Buschini and lead designer Heather Pridemore, both of whom he’d worked with previously. He sought their expertise on the exterior paint scheme and the nearly completely new interior.
“Over the years, we’ve come to trust Duncan Aviation with our most important maintenance or refurbishment projects and our experience with this aircraft further built upon that trust and confidence,” Saini said. “Although this particular workscope was our most complex and largest undertaking to date, it didn’t feel as such. This is in large part because of the team and expertise Duncan Aviation was able to provide. In particular, the initial quote and workscope was well developed by Tiffany Buschini and Justin Vena, the design vision of our client was well executed by Heather Pridemore, and the entire project was well managed by Branden Hunt — all of which made for a fun and exciting project that was completed on time and with few surprises.”
Flight Deck Upgrades
The flight deck received Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion, featuring full-colour touchscreen displays in place of the old, CRTs. Retrofitting the cockpit with Synthetic Vision System (SVS), pilots can now see uneven terrain on approaches at night, and with Wide-Area Augmentation System-Localiser Performance with Vertical guidance (WAAS LPV), the pilots will benefit from enhanced GPS signals during the entire flight, including to within 200 feet of the ground during landing.
The owner also upgraded to Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS), a datalink technology that allows pilots and Air Traffic Controllers to more easily communicate with one another using a common language. Although currently mandated only in certain North Atlantic Tracks where radar doesn’t reach and radio coverage can be erratic, the CL-604 is now ready for any future mandates.
A new Gogo Aviation AVANCE L5 will give a dramatic boost to in-flight connectivity for pilots and passengers alike.
Working with Senior Avionics Sales representative Justin Vena, the cabin was outfitted with a new Collins Venue Cabin Management System (CMS) to replace the obsolete system. The upgrade included a 10.6in Galley monitor, and in the cabin, there are now 10 TC 6000 touchscreen controls, installed at most switch locations; two 24-inch LCD screens installed on the bulkheads; the new HD Airshow, featuring Moving Maps; two High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) ports; and a channel of Bluetooth audio streaming. Audio in the cabin was also enhanced with the installation of new Alto Aviation speakers, perfect for airborne audiophiles.
“We reached out to Collins Aerospace on behalf of the customer and we were able to take advantage of a combined incentive programme and get a discount on the Venue and Fusion systems,” said Vena. “Owners dealing with obsolete systems throughout their aircraft may feel the pinch of the upgrade, but here at Duncan Aviation, we work with our vendors to get the best prices possible.”
Despite having a Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) facility of their own that handles light maintenance, the customer has brought many of their aircraft to Duncan Aviation over the past couple of years for avionics upgrades and interior modifications.
“We’ve painted and completed interiors on three of their aircraft in the past, and we’ll work on a Learjet 45 for them next year. I value the trust they have in me and in Duncan Aviation, and it was especially motivating that the new owner was open to trying so many new looks and techniques,” says Pridemore.
The PSUs are covered with a black carbon fiber-print ultraleather, with contrasting gunmetal gray plating..
Among the many unique details are gloss-finished, Black Ebony veneer, a woven vinyl flooring in the entry, galley, and lav. The galley veneer was installed horizontally, with the grain running parallel to the stripes in the vinyl flooring. The galley doors are refinished in a metallic vinyl wrap, with the customer’s logo airbrushed on one of the upper doors by the Cabinet Team.
“The owner wanted his CL-604 to make a bold statement. His company’s logo is gray and black; he wanted those colors featured in the paint scheme, which is black on the belly and tail with a splash of gray across the sides. We also carried those colors throughout the interior,” said Pridemore. “There are so many unique details we incorporated throughout the interior, and the logo added an additional, personal touch.”
Pridemore’s design for the CL-604’s upholstery lends visual interest and variety to the cabin while preserving an overall theme. Two-tone club seats are contrasted with a charcoal gray divan, both of which incorporated quilted panels and are trimmed with metallic leather piping. To further customise the bespoke interior, Pridemore had throw blankets embroidered with the owner’s logo.
“The new carpet in the cabin is the feature I’m most excited about,” said Pridemore. “It was a joint effort between the owner and me, and it was so much fun coming up with the design. He picked the pattern, and I put together a combination of colors and patterns to fit the style he was looking for. We worked through many design ideas together — seat designs, for instance — but he absolutely loved the carpet.”
When the aircraft delivered, the team was on-hand to witness the customer’s reaction. There’s always a little nervous excitement mingled with pride as the team looks on. They needn’t have worried. The customer was said to be “ecstatic”.