“As the new GM, Joe will spend more time interfacing with his Peterborough colleagues and supporting the executive team to achieve uniformity of operations across our North American facilities. The goal is to share, communicate and implement knowledge about effective practices from each location, and ensure a consistent level of Flying Colours service so that no matter where clients work with us, they have the same exceptional experience,” said President and CEO John Gillespie.
Having stepped into the GM role on 1 June, Thurman is now responsible for the day-to-day operations at the St. Louis facilities. As a member of the senior leadership team, he will focus on optimizing the talent within the Flying Colours workforce to deliver projects that meet the high standards that Flying Colours is known for. “I will strive to meet the expectations of the senior leadership team, while fostering a positive working environment for all our team members. We work in a highly competitive environment, and I’m looking forward to helping Flying Colours continue to distinguish itself by setting new standards of excellence. It’s an exciting time for Flying Colours and I’m pleased to be an integral part of its future,” said Thurman.
Thurman, who has been leading MRO operations in St. Louis, has more than 40 years of business aviation experience including operations management, program leadership and completions engineering.
Photo Caption: Joe Thurman – General Manager Flying Colours Corp.
High res available on request.
The corporate shuttle interior interior will feature 29 seats, with six business jet seats and a divan at the front of the cabin and a further twenty seats configured airline style at the aft of the cabin. Gogo Avance connectivity will power passenger connectivity keeping travellers productive and entertained in flight. Further cabin comforts include storage at the fore and aft of the cabin for small suitcases and other carry-on items, as well as additional storage for small items including briefcases, purses, and laptops in the side ledges. A forward galley and aft lavatory also feature.
Externally a new fuselage paint scheme will be applied at the Flying Colours Corp. state-of-the-art paint shop in Peterborough. Each conversion made by Flying Colours Corp. is delivered with a two-year warranty, and maintenance performed by Flying Colours as required. The CRJ conversion work will be performed at Flying Colours’ St. Louis, MO. and Peterborough. ON. Facilities
With airline routes reduced due to Covid-19, many regional jets are now hangered by airlines which are willing to discuss sales for conversion purposes. “Business aviation needs an influx of available aircraft, and the airlines are looking to sell. The regional jet conversion provides an excellent choice for owners seeking a fully customized aircraft and we have seen more inquiries in the last six months than the last few years. We can adapt the design to specific budgets, while delivering an as new aircraft, inside and out, for a competitive fee. In a market where good aircraft are hard to find, and new production aircraft waiting times are long, conversions provide an excellent solution for operators who want to quickly access aircraft,” says Eric Gillespie, Flying Colours Corp. Executive VP.
Flying Colours has extensive experience in the field having already performed more than 30 regional jet conversions, along with some 15 green CRJ 200 VIP completions. Efficient re-entry into service is supported by numerous supplemental type certificates Flying Colours holds for this type. As the industry leader in CRJ conversions, Flying Colours has delivered aircraft in every possible configuration: corporate shuttle, VIP, medevac, special mission, multi-purpose and in Flying Colours Corp.’ own VVIP ExecLiner format.
Featuring a 14-seat, highly customized interior, the finished ExecLiner airframe is comparable in size with a large cabin jet, and performance characteristics of a super mid-size jet, delivering customers a spacious, mid-range aircraft for a lower cost. Flying Colours has also design engineered optional auxiliary tanks which extend range from to 2,000 NM up to 3,100 NM.
At EBACE 2022 Flying Colours will be highlighting conversion options, as well as its full range of MRO capabilities, on booth W85.
*The CRJ 200 program is owned and supported by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Sales and installation of the advanced antennas and aircraft base radio will be available through Flying Colours Corp.’ Peterborough, ON. and St. Louis, MO. locations. The continued strengthening of the business aviation sector is driving greater use of connected services for avionics, aircraft health monitoring, and cabin WiFi. This is increasing the demand for inflight connectivity that is dependable, immediate, and secure, and necessitating a wider variety of options for owners and operators.
“Every time we talk to a customer about refurbishment, or completions, we have the connectivity conversation. We already have extensive experience upgrading and installing connectivity equipment, and regularly advise on the most suitable options for a customer’s mission profile. Adding the SmartSky equipment to our roster brings yet another dimension to our offering as it expands the choice for those seeking an unparalleled connectivity experience that supports both the cabin, and the aircraft, in North America,” says Kevin Kliethermes, director of sales, Flying Colours Corp.
The SmartSky Networks’ flagship equipment consists of two sleek antennas and a small aircraft base radio (ABR). The antenna and radio design has been optimized for business aviation use by providing high throughput to and from the aircraft – a key requirement for today’s cloud-native applications and services. Flying Colours Corp. will be providing the entire shipset through SmartSky’s latest Early Arrival promotion, and already has equipment available for immediate installation on many STC’d aircraft types.
“We are pleased to add Flying Colours Corp. to our community of partners and share in their commitment to delivering the highest quality and performance for business aviation’s connectivity needs. Their track record of delivering exceptional aftermarket services, developing STC’s, and installing innovative systems has established Flying Colours Corp. as a sought-after provider for business aviation,” says Dave Helfgott, SmartSky Networks, CEO.
Photo Caption: Flying Colours Corp. set to install SmartSky equipment in the USA and Canada.
The approval, given on 28 October, means that a full range of regular and line maintenance work can be undertaken at Flying Colours Corp’s Peterborough-headquarters on business jets listed on the 2-REG registry. Bolstering the approval Flying Colours Corp. is also approved to undertake continuing airworthiness and maintenance work on a comprehensive set of airframes, including all those listed under its Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) approval. These include Bombardier, Gulfstream, and Dassault models, amongst others. This validation also grants Flying Colours Corp. the privilege to sign Certificates of Release to Service for 2- REG aircraft, so supporting a faster re-entry into service after maintenance work is completed.
“More and more operators are using the 2-REG Aircraft Registry for its efficient services, streamlined approach, and ease of obtaining personalized registration marks for their aircraft, so we are delighted to have attained this approval,” commented Eric Gillespie, executive vice president, Flying Colours Corp. “We can now support even more aircraft in their maintenance needs including the 2-REG aircraft falling under our TCCA approvals. For customers listed on this registry and operating in Europe or North America they now have another choice in terms of maintenance services. For reduced downtime interiors, avionics upgrades or exterior paintwork services can be conducted in parallel with the maintenance. That is very attractive to many owners, particularly in the current dynamic business aviation landscape. ”
This latest approval adds to the existing broad range of maintenance approvals that Flying Colours Corp. has achieved. Current approvals include CAAC, Cayman Islands, GACA, FAA, EASA, the Isle of Man, the State of Qatar and Transport Canada. Combined, these certifications enable the business to offer ongoing services to the growing number of private aircraft entered into these registries.
Photo caption: Flying Colours Corp. approved to conduct maintenance on 2-Reg aircraft.
During the event job seekers will be shown around the facility to learn more about one of Peterborough’s most dynamic international companies. The business is hoping to fill a significant number of roles and is anticipating that some applicants will have had experience as a paint professional in parallel industries including the automotive, boat/yachting or freight sector, while a number of the roles will be supported by on-the-job training.
Ian Ross, Flying Colours HR director said, “This type of recruitment event showcases the diversity of our business. We work on aircraft of all types from small propellor aircraft through to large private jets. Every paint job is different and requires a new approach which keeps our team engaged. With the recent growth of activity in the business aviation sector we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of aircraft passing through our paint hangar which is why we are seeking new talent to join our existing team. We’re interested in meeting everyone from recent grads who want the opportunity to develop a new career, to seasoned professionals, skilled painters, paint technicians and supervisors.”
Existing employees will be on hand to explain their roles, andmanagement will respond to specific company questions while the HR team will be accepting resumes and organizing interviews. Flying Colours specializes in the custom completion and maintenance of mid to large size business jets and is the largest tenant at the airport. The fourth and largest paint shop was opened at the facility in 2020 and accommodates any size business aircraft including Bombardier Global 7500, Gulfstream G700 types, as well as narrow body executive airliners such as the A220 or B737-900 models.
The purpose-built paint shop is designed with functionality and sustainability in mind. Fully computerised and climate controlled, the new booth is equipped with energy efficient lights that optimize paint colour matches and visibility for technicians. The sanding, paint, purge, and cure application sequence reduces environmental impact through intelligently designed air recirculation and exhaust systems which decrease the amount of heat needed to operate, while reducing the amount of paint emissions released into the air.
Those attending the recruitment fair will also be able view a business aircraft and learn about how working at Flying Colours provides the opportunity to earn a good wage, excellent benefits and enjoy career progression, while performing interesting and varied work.
The event will be held Friday 19 November from 4 pm to 7pm. To preschedule an interview, resumes can be sent in advance to HR@flyingcolourscorp.com with Paint Technician Event in the subject line.
Six single seats, two double seats and a three-piece divan were stripped down to the frames, rebuilt with new foam cushions, then sanded and painted to complement the new trims. Individual seats were covered with a new customer-selected pearl-colored leather, and the seat backs featured a contrasting textured material. Each seat incorporated a customised stitching pattern, while new seatbelt webbing completed the stylish seats.
Highlighting an increasing trend, the divan was upgraded with a complementary pearl fabric, rather than leather. Also on trend was the recovering of the cabin’s lower sidewall panels and ledges in leather. The contemporary look was r enriched with a new Ultraleather cabin curtain which was custom-manufactured and installed by Flying Colours Corp. The reupholstered front and aft lavatory seats enhanced the upgrade.
The existing flooring was removed and replaced with a smoked charcoal colored carpet to contrast with the pearl leather seat tones. The increasingly popular tones of cream and grey deliver a modern, chic look, balanced by dark veneer finishes on the bulkheads, galleys and side ledges.
“This aircraft had previously been painted by the Flying Colours crew, and the customer was so delighted that they brought it back for the interior work. Repeat business is the highest accolade we can be paid, and the gorgeous new interior is as breathtaking as the exterior,” said Eric Gillespie, Executive VP, Flying Colours Corp.
A second G650 arrived at the Peterborough workshop in October to undergo refurbishment further highlighting the company’s growing work on the American OEM aircraft types. “We work on all types of airframes, and in the last year have worked on an increasing amount of Gulfstream models whose owners appreciate that we can offer interior, exterior, and maintenance work all at one location. This reduces downtime, and with the current business aviation landscape being so busy, this is an extremely important factor for owners and operators.”
The Gulfstream G650 fuselage boasts a sparkling pearl/mica Diamond Mine basecoat surface combined with an intricate design incorporating curving stripes and complicated swirling patterns. To achieve the striking results a specialty basecoat-clearcoat polyurethane paint incorporating translucent pearl and mica granules that generate a crystal-sparkling effect was applied after the priming process. The multi-faceted process required technical expertise and intense attention to detail to achieve a fuselage that will be noticed on any ramp.
Photo Caption: Flying Colours Corp. showcases latest trends in Gulfstream G650 refurbishment.
Having undergone interior completions work at Flying Colours Corp. Peterborough headquarters in Ontario a fifth Saab GlobalEye platform was delivered from Bombardier’s Toronto manufacturing site in August. As a Bombardier Special Mission completion partner for Saab’s GlobalEye program, a dedicated Flying Colours Corp. team is responsible for the design, manufacturing, installation, and completion of the highly specified interior, which is based on the Bombardier Global 6000/6500 type. Each monument shipset is individually produced to leverage the Global airframe as Flying Colours Corp. supports Saab through the introduction of a practical, functional interior for the mission system operators.
“We have had extensive experience working on the Global family in both VIP and special mission formats and are proud to have delivered these aircraft in partnership with Bombardier to Saab. Saab’s GlobalEye project specifically showcases the high levels of technical expertise delivered by our experience, knowledge, and the exceptional talent within our team,” says Sean Gillespie, Executive VP for Flying Colours Corp.
In addition the fourth in a series of six Q400MR multi-purpose aircraft has been re-delivered to aerial firefighting specialist partner Conair. Flying Colours is responsible for the engineering, fabrication, installation, certification, and completion of four different cabin interiors to support passenger, cargo, combi-transport, and medevac special missions. On completion of the interiors, a fifth firefighting capability is equipped by Conair. The ability to easily change the aircraft purpose within a quick time frame, maximises operational efficiency and costs, in a diverse range of operating environments. The final two aircraft are anticipated to be completed in 2022.
“Medevac, VIP/combi configurations, and surveillance, are just some of the special missions’ mods we’ve undertaken for governments, military, border forces and private clients over the years. Creating a practical, functional area for a very precise task requires an intelligent approach, technical expertise and engineering talent, all of which we have in abundance,” adds Gillespie. “For all our special mission work, from small medevac reconfigurations, through to the large aircraft modifications, the original airframe is leveraged to perform above and beyond the original spec and is adapted for an unambiguous role. We effectively alter the aircraft DNA, so it becomes perfectly designed to execute a particular task”.
Flying Colours Corp. has noted an increased interest in special missions requests in the last six months for multi-purpose interiors, and the modification of regional jets into corporate shuttle interiors. In addition, it is expanding its capabilities to further support aerial firefighting in response to the growing crisis related to the spread of wildfires, and their presence globally. Gillespie confirmed Flying Colours Corp. is attending the Aerial Firefighting Conference to be held in Abbotsford, BC, 26 October 2021, in support of its partners, and other specialists, in this high demand field.
Flying Colours Corp. will be talking up its special missions capabilities during NBAA-BACE 2021 Booth 923.
Photo Caption: Saab’s GlobalEye platform benefits from Flying Colours’ special mission expertise.
Running parallel with the maintenance tasks was a Collins Venue™ Cabin Management System installation, which was blended with Alto Aviation switches. The controls are specifically designed to fit into previous switch panel location holes resulting in a solution that maximises client budget and reduces installation time significantly. Flying Colours Corp.’ experience with the Venue back bone supported by Alto Switch sets was a factor in the customer selection of the MRO.
To support the existing Ka-band connectivity upgraded routers were repositioned to support cabin and flight deck connectivity. To optimise rest, relaxation, and productivity the AIMSKYLAB sound proofing system was integrated, considerably reducing noise in the cabin. Externally the aircraft fuselage was stripped and repainted to deliver an as new look to the airframe.
“Our experience installing the blended Venue and Alto Switch offering and our capacity to fulfill maintenance, interior, paint and avionics tasks makes Flying Colours Corp. an attractive choice for aircraft owners. Undertaking all the work at a single venue reduces down time and maximises budget which is also very appealing. For this customer the result was an improved ownership experience with improved connectivity, reduced noise levels and a new-look fuselage,” explains Eric Gillespie, Executive VP, Flying Colours Corp. “We have a consistent pipeline of Global heavy checks coming through the facility and our experience just keeps strengthening. This makes us a great option for owners looking for a provider that can meet all their maintenance, interiors, repairs and overhaul needs.”
The 240-month inspection involves completely stripping the aircraft down to the frame, enabling an in depth look at the aircraft fuselage to check for signs of everything from stress fractures to corrosion, as well as other issues that may have affected the structural integrity of the aircraft. The cabin was also laid bare, with panels, carpets, insulating surfaces floorboards, monuments, fairings, and side ledges removed for assessments and overhauls.
A leading international MRO, Flying Colours Corp. provides a full suite of maintenance, completion, special mission, repair, paint and other aviation services under one roof. The company also supports a growing number of aircraft transactions by sourcing aircraft, conducting pre-buy inspections, and subsequently completing technical modifications and refurbishment work as needed. The streamlined acquisition process increases efficiencies and reduces aircraft downtime enabling owners to begin optimizing the new asset as soon as possible.
“The ability to strengthen existing relationships, forge new ones with like-minded professionals, and meet new customers informed our decision to take up membership,” explains Kevin Kliethermes, Director of Sales for Flying Colours Corp. “We have already begun to work with a number of new companies as a result. We are also looking forward to participating in the great events that IADA plans, contributing educational materials to the website and of course optimising the full range of opportunities presented by IADA membership.”
Photo Caption: Flying Colours Corp. provides multiple aircraft services to support aircraft transactions
The International Aircraft Dealers Association is the collective force influencing and shaping the aircraft transaction industry. With accredited dealers of all sizes, and dozens of verified Products and Services members skilled in aircraft transactions, IADA is the acknowledged leader in developing industry standards for efficient, effective and ethical business aircraft transactions.
Working for business aircraft owners globally, IADA provides a facility for professional standards, ethics and exchange of information among its members and to the public for the purpose of creating a more efficient market, facilitating transactions and providing transparency in transactions, thereby increasing business aircraft ownership and usage worldwide.
The customer requested that the mid-cabin credenza be replaced by a three-place divan and divan end cabinet. This project also marked the first collaboration of this type between Singapore and its sister location in St. Louis, Missouri. Leveraging the cabinet manufacturing know-how, the St. Louis team was tasked with the end cabinet build, which was then shipped to Singapore for varnishing and final installation. Building the cabinet required weekly status reviews between the two teams to mitigate production roadblocks and ensure design/build conformity.
“This project is a substantial step forward for Singapore’s service capability. The combination of Bombardier engineering and FCC’s manufacturing expertise will now allow full cabin reconfigurations to be offered to their in-region customers,” says Flying Colours Corp. PTE Managing Director, Paul Dunford.
To prepare itself to offer these expanded services and in conjunction with the Bombardier facility expansion, Flying Colours Corp. is growing both its facility and its workforce to better support expected growth in demand for interior repairs, reconfigurations, and refurbishments. The company is revising the facility layout to enhance workflow and efficiently incorporate new high-tech equipment. Recruitment activity has also been doubling workforce numbers
The enhanced workshop and workforce ensure owners in the Asian region have local access to the latest woodwork finishing techniques required for the flagship Bombardier Global 7500, as well as full repairs for existing Bombardier aircraft. This complements the full scope of preliminary inspections, repair work, modifications, and refurbishments, and now cabin reconfigurations already offered to complement Bombardier’s comprehensive line and heavy maintenance services.