Private Aircraft: Buying your first aircraft is a giant leap into the unknown. I'll try to provide an overview of the process of aircraft completion once an aircraft arrives at the completion center.
When the designer first shows you all of the different wood selection and fabrics in abundance it seems overwhelming. This is normal and is always exciting the sky is the limit with whatever you choose. With no interior of any kind inside your aircraft you can have the freedom of working with a clean slate and designing something that fits your lifestyle. Detailed drawings and paint schemes are provided for your approval.
There is a phenomenally large amount of people and actions that all need to be inter-mesh for completion/refurbishment of an aircraft to be accomplished within a set time limit. All departments are assembled into one room to make sure that all details are put on the table, and that there is no missed information.
Having a working knowledge of all of the departments give aircraft completion firms a better insight into the process. An aircraft which is like a giant puzzle needs to be assembled in a certain order. Professionals insure that it all flows at a steady pace and no detail is missed.
The first step is to get all of the avionics installed including LCD's and switch panels. Cabin entertainment, HD Theater, satellite phones and WIFI system are also placed in the aircraft. Installing the wire bundle looks likes 25 workers wrestling a 40 foot anaconda. This is the beginning of your dream aircraft coming to life.
Next the sheet metal installers rivet all necessary bonding points to the interior to hold windows, side walls, bulkheads, and headliner. This is a major portion that is critical to the structure of the aircraft.
All galleys, bulkheads, headliners and even seats parts are made from honeycomb composite which lightens the total weight of the aircraft. Speaking of weight, this is always one of the most crucial areas of concern during a project. All aircraft are weight limited and it's best to use as little as possible on the interior so that it is available for payload.
All of the soft goods are handled with care and delicacy because they are the seats, window line, headliners all the touchy items. An aircraft management firm insure they are not damaged and stick out like a sore thumb. Experts inspect to see you get that fantastic 6″ deep look on a stained or natural finish bulkheads, dividers, credenzas and storage.
The completion process for a new aircraft takes about 30 weeks. Professional firms should have experienced A&P mechanics, FCC licensed avionics techs and ATP licensed pilots who have all been through this process many times. Teams such as these supervise your project to insure your safety and see you realize the full value from your aircraft. After the aircraft is assembled it is inspected, all systems are tested and it is test flown.
Aircraft ownership is a worthwhile adventure and brings the world to you.
Capt. Ivan Klugman
President of Integral Aviation Solutions