Watch Duncan Aviation refurbish a Legacy 600

Duncan Aviation NBAA 2013

Duncan Aviation's exhibition at NBAA 2013 (Photo: Alex Andrews).

Duncan Aviation displayed a tip-to-tail external and interior refurbished Embraer Legacy 600 business jet at NBAA 2014 last month.

You can watch a time lapse video of the refurbishment process below:

Corporate Jet Investor asked members of the Duncan Aviation team about some of the highlights and challenges of the project.

Were there any unexpected challenges on the refurbishment?

Tracy Hein, project manager in Lincoln, Nebraska: “We have unexpected challenges with every refurbishment of this magnitude, but we’re able to rearrange the schedule and work together to ensure the aircraft delivered on time. The biggest hurdle that comes to mind was the cracking window seals at the end of the project. The seals were old and we had to replace them on an aircraft of a similar age, so the entire project, we thought they might become an issue.”

“After we installed the interior, we realised they needed to be replaced, so we had to remove the interior, one half at a time, replace the seals and reinstall. Fortunately, we were a bit ahead of schedule, the teams all worked together to do their parts and we all remained flexible enough to complete this project on time. At the end of the day, these challenges didn’t impact the out date because we were able to plan ahead.

Did the work take any longer than planned?

Hein: “Because the aircraft was going to NBAA, we needed to deliver on time. That meant working additional shifts and multiple shops working on the aircraft at once.

Did the customer ask for anything unusual to be fitted into the new interior? How much of the interior was handmade by Duncan Aviation? How difficult was the interior to fit?

Darren Blaser, interior completions team leader in Lincoln, Nebraska: “We have a cabinet and upholstery shop in house, allowing our team members to craft everything by hand, so we customise every interior that comes into our hangar.”

“This customer didn’t want to completely reconfigure the interior, so we were able to reuse a lot of materials, which meant remaining green by recycling, as well as saving money. We took out the entire interior for the inspection, stripped everything down, cleaned it up, repaired it and recovered everything with more modern materials, giving the cabin a brand new look and feel without the price. The new carpet and glass racks were additional perks that really helped update the aircraft.”

Were there any challenges involved with the exterior paintwork?

Brad Sievers, paint team leader in Lincoln, Nebraska: “This paint job was, by no means, average. The customer wanted pearl paint with a fade. To save time, we painted the aircraft backwards — meaning we started with the navy blue, so we could balance the elevators and then painted the rest of the jet.”

“Pearl paint is a three-step process, and the fade takes a lot of time and skill to make it symmetrical, but we completed the scheme in the allotted two weeks. It turned out exactly as the customer hoped it would.

How difficult was including any new avionics into the existing cockpit?

Hein: “We took this aircraft from an EASA certification made it FAA compliant. That included a lot of box changes and rewiring. We also installed wi-fi, which most customers and buyers require.

How was the reaction to the aircraft at NBAA?

Hein: “NBAA attendees loved the Embraer Legacy 600, on display at National Aircraft Resale Association (NARA) static. The customer, Embraer Executive Jets’ PreFlown division, was very happy. They had a great showing and a lot of good reviews.”