Every shop at our full-service facility in Provo, Utah, had a role in the complete transformation of this 2001 GLEX. The aircraft’s interior was completely gutted and the paint stripped before it was transformed into something truly spectacular. The team also performed a 240-month inspection and installed new LED lighting, a Honeywell RDR-7000 radar upgrade, and KA Connectivity System.
The result is undoubtedly the nicest aircraft of its age.
Preparation work for this aircraft project began nearly two years before the major event for Regional Manager Joe LaCorte, who partnered with Stef Sedam, then part of the Airframe Services Sales Team, Matt Spain for Paint and Interior Sales, and Steve Elofson for Avionics Sales on the quoting process.
“We were given the opportunity by the Director of Maintenance to perform a 3,000-hour inspection at our Provo facility as a test run about a year before the major inspection project,” says Joe. “After a successful event, he trusted us with the complete refurbishment of his GLEX.”
Lead Designer Molly Pfeiffer mocked up a full interior spec presentation for the owner before finalizing his slot nearly 18 months later.
Over the years, the interior of the aircraft became worn. It featured a mixture of whites and they all had different undertones. The materials didn’t age well together. To prevent this from happening again, Molly ensured the whites have a similar yellow undertone so as they age, the cabin will still present as a cohesive design.
The owner wanted his new interior to be modernized with white, bright, and cozy finishes. The difficulty with whites is finding a way to bring warmth to the interior. To do this, Molly focused on creating clean modern lines in the cabin. The bulkheads, which used to have a rounded, hardwood, bullnose trim were simplified to a squared-off fabric insert that is surrounded by new veneer.
“We brought in two different fabrics throughout the cabin; one on the divan and one for the bulkhead inserts,” says Molly. “Both fabrics feature grey and white patterns that help bring some texture and depth into the cabin.”
The entire interior was gutted. The only thing that stayed was the blue stone inlay in the drinkrails.
The blue inlay was a beautiful detail that got lost with the Birdseye Maple used previously,” explains Molly. “When placed against the new light veneer, it became a really striking detail.”
Typically, the seats in an aircraft are leather. But in this aircraft, they are sheepskin cushions. This was a first for Molly.
“The owner specifically requested sheepskin for the seats because he likes the softness and comfort,” says Molly. “It was the first time I’ve seen this, so we updated the seat design to be more modern and from there we decided to make the entire seat cushion sheepskin, rather than just having the top part of the cushion sheepskin.”
This gave the seats a very modern, timeless, and clean look.
The white carpet was also a challenge for the Duncan Aviation team.
“Since this was a white carpet and we didn’t want to risk it getting dirty from footprints or tool bags, we had to wait until the very end to install it,” explains Molly. “While it proved to be more work for us, the carpet really brought the entire interior together.”
Olivia Putman at Studio Putman has a well-established relationship with the owners that has been filled with trust and respect. The design studio has been working with the family for a long time, and they knew what was expected in the final product.
“Olivia knows the owners very well, so we worked together to bring their vision to life,” says Molly. “For example, they sent me a regular veneer they liked for the design so I went on a hunt to find the aviation equivalent of it. I would send them different design options and they’d choose the best fit for the owner. I truly enjoyed working with them.”
Molly and Olivia complemented each other in a way that resulted in the owners being more than pleased with the design choices, the incredible quality of work, and the overall refurbishment.
“Molly was extremely important in the process and helped us to achieve this beautiful project with the best craftmanship she could provide,” says Olivia. “The quality of work by Duncan Aviation is really flawless. It was an incredible pleasure to bring our design to the sky. In the history of Studio Putman, my mother, Andrée Putman, designed the Concorde. This was the first time I’ve designed an aircraft, and it was an honor.”
Molly says this was one of the most challenging projects she’s worked on.
“Working with all white, and making the owners vision come together without creating a stark and cold environment was a challenge,” says Molly. “When you fly, you are in the aircraft for a long time. You want the space to be comforting and inviting.”
The owner was very particular, so the Duncan Aviation team had to ensure they were meticulous in every detail. Molly says she could not be happier with the entire Provo Interior Team for their care and execution of this project.
“I have the vision, but they are the ones that truly bring my designs to life,” she says. “I couldn’t do it without their support.”
Molly says that every shop at Duncan Aviation played a very important role.
“This was a true Duncan Aviation airplane,” says Molly. “It was a surreal feeling as we watched the aircraft fly away. It was special.”