PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO: Innovative new cabin products often debut on board business aircraft before making the leap to commercial airlines. Inflight high-speed Internet service, for instance, has been offered – uninterrupted – on long-range business jets for many years.
That’s why the APEX editor’s blog is tracking developments in the business aviation space. This week I took a road trip to visit Flying Colours Corp in Peterborough, Ontario. The family-owned company, together with its sister facility in St Louis, Missouri, provides business aircraft completions, maintenance, modification & repair, and modernisation.
Whilst at Flying Colours, VP corporate development and interior design Kate Gillespie Ahrens told me about a slick, new stone flooring product that is becoming popular amongst business jet owners. Manufactured by LIST components and furniture GmbH of Austria, the product is 100% granite veneer so it’s weight is “very comparable to carpet”, says Gillespie Ahrens. “They can mill the granite down to 1.2mm thick and they put it on floating, interlocking plates so when you’re coming down [for landing] and decompression and everything, it totally melds together; you don’t notice the movement.”
Stone flooring is generally being used for aircraft entryways, as well as forward and aft lavatories “but you can have it anywhere”, notes Gillespie Ahrens. Flying Colours is even looking at using it with heated floors (for some very exacting customers no doubt). “LIST can do custom logos in the floor; they can do any kind of pattern. It’s beautiful. It’s a nice product. I’d love to put it into every plane,” she adds.
These sorts of personal touches are becoming more and more popular for business jet operators. In the last year, Flying Colours has observed that “people want to be a little bit more personal with their aircraft and put their [own] touches on it that they really want so, with the Challenger 850 programme, we have actually had a lot of Asian clients requesting red [for their interior palate]. They love anything with red accents and it has been really nice, really refreshing. The [more traditional] beige is beautiful and you can make a beige palate really nice but they [operators] taken a change in direction and are really passionate about those colours so it has been really fun,” says Gillespie Ahrens.
In 2010 Flying Colours was named the preferred completion center for LIST, after the company installed a stone floor in a Global 5000 for an international client. Flying Colours offers the stone flooring, countertops and other products in the LIST portfolio for all aircraft types including its “Green” Bombardier completions and their various refurbishment projects.