Duncan Aviation Lead Designer Rachael Weverka recently worked with a customer who wanted extensive renovations on his G-V (Gulfstream V). He was a designer’s dream in that he was easygoing, knew what he wanted, and was open to her ideas. But before he would sign a contract, he wanted to see how the colors, patterns, and materials all came together.
Rachael worked with Dan Ryba, one of Duncan Aviation’s Multimedia Illustrators, who produced conceptual renderings of what an aircraft would look like with the proposed design.
“I’d met with our customer at his hangar, and he was anxious to get started on the project because he had an upcoming flight overseas and needed the renovations completed prior to that trip,” says Rachael. “Once he saw Dan’s renderings with the materials selected, he signed the contract, and we got to work.”
Completions and Modifications Sales Representative Joep Cuppens also worked on the project, which included custom-designed exterior paint.
“We can’t all envision what a finished project is going to look like, and the 3D renderings really take away the guess work,” says Joep. “Several of my customers have asked for them, and they’re delighted by what we produced. Even better, they’re especially pleased that the finished product looks like the renderings.”
The timeframe for the workscope was a bit tight, and Rachael immediately ran into a potential delay that presented challenges.
“The owner liked the concept of his existing carpet but wanted to change it slightly for an updated look,” says Rachael. “Unfortunately, the existing carpet required all hand-stitching, which adds quite a bit of time to the manufacturing process. We knew that wasn’t an option, so I redesigned it to be mostly machine-made with some custom overtufting for the pattern.”
After discussing the challenge with the carpet manufacturer, Rachael was told if she created the computer templates for the repeating patterns that she had designed, they could make the carpet according to her specifications. She created the templates and sent them to the manufacturer. Using those templates, the machine that stitched the carpet incorporated Rachael’s patterns, and the manufacturer was able to make and deliver the carpet on time, keeping the project on its tight schedule.
In addition to paint, the exterior renovations included new entry steps, which were a unique design combination of polished aluminum panels for the risers and black step tread. The mirrored finish is quite striking, and the customer loved them!
Rachael’s designs made big changes to the interior of the aircraft, right down to the smallest detail. For instance, the faucet was a standard faucet that needed to be updated to match the new interior. Rachael had a faucet in mind; it was one she’d used on another G-V.
“This new faucet is a lot like the one that’s commonly used on many aircraft but is constructed to be more durable,” says Rachael.
The new black Corian countertops served as perfect complement to the veneer with its dark grain, and the eye-popping cream accents kept the cabin from appearing too dark. The black pinstriped divan brought in some masculinity, and the soft, cashmere-covered pillows at every seat provided warmth and contrast.
For extra comfort during overnight flights in and out of the United States, Rachael found a company that makes custom linens, pillows, and foam beds that are contoured to each seat.
“The big challenge for this project was the time frame; we wanted to meet the original delivery date so the customer could use this aircraft for an overseas flight,” says Rachael. “The quick decisions by the owner were made possible by the conceptual renderings, and with the incredible efforts of all of the team members who worked on this aircraft, we were able to deliver on time.