Sherwin-Williams Launches New Aerospace Conductive Coating

Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings added a new aerospace conductive coating (CM0485115) to its line of undercoats, enabling aircraft owners to impart conductivity onto aluminum and composite substrates. The coating offers high conductivity to non-conductive substrates by producing an anti-static conductive film on their surfaces with a resistivity of 0.1 to 100,000 ohms per square meter to help static charges dissipate from antennas and radomes. The coating is designed with excellent adhesion and offers excellent fluid resistance.

Conductive coating (CM0485115) is designed to work with Sherwin-Williams topcoat systems. Using a 1:1 mix ratio, the product is simple to mix and apply. It is compatible with all non-electrostatic spray equipment and can be applied onto pre-primed aluminum and composite substrates to achieve high conductivity. For the best results, the company says the conductive coating should be applied in one singular, continuous closed film or one cross coat. The application can happen in a wide range of environmental conditions, and the coating can be air cured or force dried, providing flexibility for applicators. Drying times vary based on the dry film thickness.

“As composite substrates continue to grow in popularity in the aerospace market, it’s important for our customers to have ready access to a robust conductive coating that can meet their requirements for functionality, durability and ease of application,” said Julie Voisin, market segment manager, aerospace, OEM interior and commercial vehicle refinish. “Our new conductive coating is a perfect complement to our product offering and commitment to deliver high-performing products to the aerospace marketplace.”

FlightSafety International Expands PC-24 Training Capacity in Europe

FlightSafety International, in partnership with Pilatus Aircraft Ltd, announced they will deploy a fourth full-flight simulator (FFS) for the Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet to meet the growing demand for training in Europe. 

This simulator will be the second PC-24 simulator in the FlightSafety Paris Le Bourget Learning Center. The new simulator is planned to be ready for training during the second quarter of 2024. The other two simulators for this specific aircraft are located in the FlightSafety Dallas-Fort Worth North Learning Center.

“FlightSafety is pleased to offer expanded capacity to meet the demand in Europe for the growing fleet of PC-24 operators,” said Nate Speiser, executive vice president of FlightSafety sales and marketing. “FlightSafety has trained over 1,000 PC-24 pilots since introducing training for this aircraft in 2013 and we are excited to continue to advance our partnership with Pilatus for this program.”

“Pilatus’s continuous work and close collaboration with FlightSafety International has led to a consolidated solid partnership and professional training of PC-24 pilots. We are pleased to welcome the fourth PC-24 flight simulator in the PC-24 community. A great opportunity to fulfill future training demands while improving availability for all our current customers and operators,” commented Ignaz Gretener, VP general aviation.

The PC-24 Super Versatile Jet is a uniquely designed aircraft providing a highly desirable set of comforts and benefits to its passengers and operators. The PC-24 offers a larger passenger cabin with a continuous flat floor and a pressurized baggage compartment. Its excellent short-field performance combined with its capability to operate from both paved and unpaved runways make the PC-24 a unique business jet capable of exploring locations and airfields not easily accessible by other similar class aircraft.

Flexjet Opens Futuristic $50 Million Global Headquarters in Cleveland

Flexjet has opened a new global headquarters at Cuyahoga County Airport (ICAO: KCGF), east of downtown Cleveland. Inside, the company’s Global Operations Control Center features the largest seamless LED screen in the U.S. and is the most technologically advanced.

“Flexjet has undergone tremendous growth during the past decade with operations expanding throughout North America, Europe and beyond,” said Kenn Ricci, Flexjet chairman. “Our new Global Operations Control Center enables us to manage flights all over the world, in a setting that is optimized to the nuances of our unique business, ensuring aircraft Owners the highest levels of service and responsiveness. This facility provides a world-class environment to do the work necessary to continue our ascent as the world’s preeminent private aviation provider.”

The new Global Operations Control Center serves as the building’s core and has the private aviation industry’s most advanced technology, including the largest seamless LED screen in the U.S. and third largest in the world – a gigantic 176 feet wide by 19 feet high with 1,572 individual LED panels. The screen displays every Flexjet flight around the world in real-time, creating a visually immersive experience. Designed to accommodate planned growth, the center can handle the staff and technology required to manage twice the current fleet of nearly 270 aircraft. The center’s stadium-style seating, which is arranged by job type, maximizes the flow and speed of information, particularly during issues such as major weather systems. In addition, the bridge at the center of the room has a pop-up command station that is used during Peak Travel season (such as the winter holidays) when customer flying is at high volumes requiring heightened coordination.

On the exterior, the glass-enclosed marquee structure is positioned to give all employees in the building a front-row seat to the aircraft comings and goings on the airport ramp. The building was designed with dramatic sharp angles and triple-paned, treated glass that minimizes the sound of the aircraft on the field, creates privacy and controls the temperature inside. The HVAC includes a charcoal filtration system that continuously recirculates and purifies the air inside.

The facility also houses Flexjet’s primary data center that feeds over 30 locations worldwide. Great thought and effort went into the development of a network of power with multiple redundancies. In addition to a complex system that converts AC power to DC power to get exactly the 120V current needed, there is a backup generator and five sets of power inverters and batteries. If for any reason the building lost power, the battery backups would switch on to cover the seconds it takes for the generator to kick in. All of this is necessary to make sure there are no interruptions in electricity to the data center, ensuring Flexjet maintains operational control of its fleet.

Construction included an enclosed connector to Flexjet’s previous headquarters building, where renovations are underway. Combined, this campus-like setting frames the entire Northwest portion of the Cuyahoga County Airport grounds.

The 51,453-square-foot Global Headquarters and Operations Control Center will increase the campus size to a total of 243,000 square feet with office space for 670 of the company’s 4,000 employees who work for Flexjet and its sister companies globally. An aviation theme continues indoors with conference rooms named after aircraft that Ricci flew during his career as a pilot. The largest room, named Gulfstream, sits in the center of the building with a view of the Global Operations Control Center. Inside the Gulfstream room is a custom-made conference table made from the fuselage of the first Gulfstream G4 to come off the factory line. That aircraft, serial number 1, was one that Ricci personally flew. The fuselage is positioned under a glass table so that the iconic oval windows of the Gulfstream are the center of attention.

Flexjet employs approximately 4,000 aviation professionals throughout the world, and more than 1,100 of them are non-union dedicated crew pilots. Its U.S.-based pilots and cabin servers can choose from more than 100 domiciles in the U.S. to live. In addition to Flexjet’s executive leadership, other Cleveland-based Flexjet employees include those working in global operations, flight support, safety, aircraft Owner service, human resources, information technology, sales and marketing.

“From the simplicity of where we started 25 years ago, to the advancements in technology and where we are today, this new Global Operations Center is truly a marvel and it defines a new future in aviation,” said Ricci. “None of this would be possible without the dedication of our employees. This new operations center is a demonstration of our relentless progress and vision.”

Wheels Up Selects Bluetail to Centralize All Aircraft Maintenance Records for Entire Fleet

Bluetail, an aircraft records platform for business aviation, announced that Wheels Up has entered into an agreement to implement Bluetail’s all-in-one aircraft records management hub and MACH Conformity module for its entire owned aircraft fleet.

“We conducted a detailed optimization analysis of our maintenance records procedures to identify opportunities for enhanced accuracy and efficiency while ensuring the highest levels of safety,” said Scott Caddick, vice president, fleet maintenance at Wheels Up. “We expect Wheels Up’s partnership with Bluetail to provide measurable time and cost savings for our maintenance operation and improve aircraft availability.”

Bluetail’s modern, cloud-based SOC 2 and FAA-compliant software and scanning services will allow Wheels Up maintenance teams to have instant access, advanced search capabilities and the ability to securely share records regardless of where aircraft are located.

MACH Search, the industry-leading AI search engine, enables faster and more accurate record searches, saving hundreds of hours of research time with no need for document tagging, which is expected to result in aircraft being back in the air sooner.

“Wheels Up is one of the most progressive on-demand private aircraft providers, and digitizing and centralizing all aircraft records for their owned aircraft fleet will help control maintenance costs and improve aircraft availability,” stated Bluetail co-founder Stuart Illian. “We are extremely proud that they have selected Bluetail’s modern digital records platform to securely store and manage all of their maintenance and service records.”

Wheels Up will also utilize Bluetail’s Part 135 Conformity Module for future aircraft conformity inspections. The latest results from Bluetail’s customers have demonstrated significant time and cost savings when the new conformity module is employed.

JSSI Appoints Manuel Ruanova to Director of Business Development for U.S. West Coast

Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI) announced the appointment of Manuel Ruanova as the director of business development for the U.S. West Coast territory. After serving as the primary customer liaison for Mexico and Central America for 13 years, Ruanova will use his extensive industry experience and expertise to focus on strengthening client relationships in areas where JSSI has seen tremendous growth – Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.

Ruanova initially joined JSSI as a technical advisor in 2010, and quickly advanced to the business development team in 2013. Through his deep technical expertise, customer service focus and sales skills, Ruanova has played a pivotal role in furthering JSSI’s position in the market.

“As the West Coast continues to prove itself a key strategic market, we chose to appoint a leader who is constantly raising the bar and exceeding expectations,” stated David Caporali, senior vice president of business development, Americas. “Manny’s deep technical understanding of aircraft maintenance and how it affects residual value made him the obvious choice to spearhead this expansion.”

“For more than a decade, I have had the privilege of closely observing JSSI’s continued commitment to serving the aviation industry with the utmost quality and care,” added Ruanova. “Looking ahead, the U.S. West Coast region offers tremendous opportunities for growth and development, and I am eager to help strengthen JSSI’s presence in this valuable market.”

Ruanova’s aviation roots trace back to his childhood, when he forged a deep connection through time spent alongside his father, a distinguished corporate pilot. Embarking on his journey, he obtained his A&P license in 1999, followed by his pilot’s license in 2002. With an impressive career spanning more than two decades in the industry, his continued commitment inspired him to acquire the senior appraiser designation by the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) in 2018. This serves as a testament to his profound dedication, and comprehension of the impact that hourly cost maintenance programs have on aircraft values.

PWI Cabin LED Lighting Kits Earn PMA Approval in Citation II 550 and CJ1 525

Cessna Citation II 550 and the 525 CJ1 business jets now have an OEM cabin lighting LED solution for replacing all of the original fluorescents. PWI has earned FAA PMA approval for all cabin configurations of the Citation II and the CJ1 models. PWI LED kits replace all fluorescents in the galley, lav and passenger cabin. The Citation jet LED kits follow up the cabin LED kit for the Falcon 900B, FAA approved earlier this year.

Replacing fluorescents with LEDs is beneficial for several reasons including reduced maintenance, extremely long service life, create no heat, no high voltage and possible EMI/RFI interference as well as eliminating buzz, hum and light flicker.

PWI LED kits are engineered to directly connect to the aircraft wiring, using the exact electrical connectors found in the Citation. This makes the plug-and-play installation of LEDs very straightforward.

These LED kits are offered in both 4000K Warm White color temperature as well as 5100K Cool White. These LEDs dim using the original lighting aircraft lighting controls or any 3rd party cabin management system.

The Citation LED cabin lighting kits offer 100,000 service hours, require very low power, require no maintenance and run on the 28 volts supplied by aircraft.

These newly approved cabin light kits join the LED reading lights already approved for Citations and nearly 100 additional piston, turboprop and jet aircraft. PWI continues to support Citation customers with the PMA-approved LED Ice Light/Pylon Floodlight as well as the yet-to-be-approved LED step light replacement for the cabin door steps.

The Citation LED Cabin Light kit has a three-year warranty and PMA number PQ4159CE, Supplement numbers: 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29.

Future expansion of this entire cabin LED upgrade work will include additional Citations, Falcons, Gulfstreams and Lear jet aircraft.

PWI is the OEM for most King Air interior lighting, extending a decades-long history of OEM fluorescent lights for business jets such as the Dassault Falcon, Gulfstream, Citation and Learjet. 

Duncan Aviation Aircraft Sales/Acquisitions Rep Relocates to UK 

Duncan Aviation announced that Leah Alexander, aircraft sales and acquisitions, has relocated from Chicago, Ill., to the Southern Coast of England to expand Duncan Aviation’s client base in Europe and the Middle East. She will join Tim Barber in representing Duncan Aviation’s aircraft sales and acquisitions team in the United Kingdom. 

“Being in the United Kingdom allows for easily covering a wide span of time zones,” said Alexander. “I can attest that from Chicago, days that begin early with a conference call to India and end late with calls to Hong Kong can grow very long, very quickly.” 

Ryan Huss, Duncan Aviation’s vice president of sales and marketing said Alexander’s relocation will enhance the team’s ability to cover the opportunities in the EMEA region. 

“Leah has been working with Tim Barber over the past several years and the timing for her to return back to England could not have been better,” said Huss. “They have formed a strong duo and naturally complement each other’s strengths.” 

Huss explained that Alexander brings great energy and drive to the team. 

“She does a great job of understanding the market from both the buyer and seller’s sides,” said Huss. “Leah is detail-oriented and articulate in both her understanding of the available aircraft as well as in the brokerage agreements she takes part in. We are looking forward to seeing Leah get settled and grow into one of the leading brokers in the region.” 

When Alexander joined Duncan five years ago, she expressed that her long-term goal would be to take advantage of the location flexibility. As it happens, her parents are both from Europe and she has both UK and EU citizenships and has conversational comfort in multiple languages.  

Barber explained that over the last few years, the number of aircraft acquisitions, sales, and inventory opportunities that the Duncan Aviation team has been involved with has grown tremendously, especially in Europe and the Middle East. 

“We noted that it would be a strategic advantage for us to have an additional aircraft broker on the other side of the Atlantic in order for us to best facilitate these opportunities,” said Barber. “The growth in our aircraft sales activity overseas coincides with our planned growth in other areas of the company.” 

Alexander is also heading up the education committee for IADA to assist with developing resources and content for the association to ensure certified brokers have a global perspective and understanding. She went on to explain that there aren’t many companies with an IADA (International Aircraft Dealers Association) certified broker based outside of North America. 

“I’m looking forward to forming relationships and facilitating the expanding activity of our client base in Europe and the Middle East,” said Alexander. “I am excited for this opportunity.” 

Textron Aviation Announces Latest Garmin Avionics Software for 2024 Cessna Caravan Family

Textron Aviation recently announced avionics enhancements to the legendary Cessna Caravan family of turboprops — the Cessna Caravan and Cessna Grand Caravan EX. Coming in 2024, the most popular utility turboprop in the world will offer the latest Garmin avionics suite to deliver greater performance and improved user experience to pilots.

The Cessna Caravan and Cessna Grand Caravan EX are designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc.

“We strive to provide excellent flying experiences for pilots, and this update for the Caravan demonstrates our commitment to incorporating the latest technology and innovation based on customer feedback,” said Lannie O’Bannion, senior vice president, Sales & Flight Operations. “We’re invested in the future of this legendary turboprop and the future of flight.”

Equipped with the Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite, Caravan operators will experience an array of new advanced features and technology from Garmin. Notable additions that will come standard include the GDL 60 datalink, the GTX 345DR diversity transponder and the GI 275 electronic standby.

The GDL 60 will offer high-bandwidth data exchange and connectivity options, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and LTE networks. The GDL 60 provides cockpit and personal electronic device connectivity, and external Wi-Fi and LTE networks for external connectivity while the aircraft is on ground. It also features the ability to complete automatic wireless database downloads over network connections. The GTX 345DR will offer ADS-B Out/In standard and will also include diversity antenna coverage. The ADS-B In applications available have been expanded with the GTX 345DR to include CAVS (CDTI Assisted Visual Separation) and ROA (Runway Occupancy Awareness). The GI 275 electronic standby provides a modern, sleek glass touchscreen display.

Caravan operators will have new optional features available to them including the Garmin GWX 8000 weather radar, which adds Automode and Lightning and Hail Prediction. They will also have optional Taxiway Routing, which provides visual guidance for Caravan operators when maneuvering in the airport environment.

Previously existing optional features are being refreshed for Caravan operators as well. The Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) refresh includes enhanced terrain, airport signs and runway depictions. The SVT refresh also introduces multiple viewpoints for the first time and integrates with the new Taxiway Routing feature to display routing guidance. Additionally, Sirius XM Weather through the GDL 69A SXM has been enhanced to include new products.

Block 3 Avionics Upgrade Now Available For Gulfstream G650, G650ER

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. today announced that the Honeywell Primus Epic Block 3 upgrade is now available for the Gulfstream G650 and G650ER. The upgrade includes multiple new and improved features, building upon existing visual, communication, alerting and navigation systems.

“Continuous improvement and ongoing enhancements for all Gulfstream aircraft are hallmarks of our ownership experience,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “Development teams have prepared and perfected robust upgrades worthy of the award-winning G650 fleet. These enhancements provide operators even more tools that help pilots make informed safety decisions during all phases of flight, with particular emphasis on improving awareness in high-traffic situations and during takeoffs and landings.”

Standard Block 3 features include:

  • New advanced graphics modules providing four times the terrain resolution and enhanced gamma-correct color sets
  • Night Mode charts
  • New Synthetic Vision System display options and improved graphics on primary flight display (PFD)
  • Communication Management Function (CMF) version 3.1, providing improved performance and alerting options
  • Localizer Performance (LP) approaches with reduced minima over LNAV approaches where localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) is not available
  • ADS-B In Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI) for airborne or qualified ground operations
  • More than 1,500 enhancements to the next-generation Flight Management System
  • Access to the baggage compartment up to 45,000 feet

Optional features include:

  • Situational Awareness package that includes both 2D and 3D airport moving maps (AMM), ADS-B In Visual Separation on Approach and enhanced Synthetic Vision System symbology
  • Award-winning Predictive Landing Performance System that includes integration of Honeywell’s Runway Overrun Awareness & Alerting System 
  • Autopilot Coupled Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)
  • Weather Awareness package that includes an XM Weather update with eight new weather products, plus a predictive weather hazards addition to the Honeywell IntuVue RDR-4000 3D weather radar system

AvAir Named one of “Top Companies to Work for in Arizona”

AvAir, an inventory solutions provider for the aviation aftermarket, announced that it was named a Top Companies to Work for in Arizona by the Arizona Capitol Times, Best Companies Group and BestCompaniesAZ.

This highly selective list is the result of anonymous and comprehensive employee surveys measuring culture, work environment, leadership, and employee pride and satisfaction, combined with rigorous evaluations of workplace practices, policies, perks and demographics.

“We are honored that AvAir was included on this list of leading workplaces in Arizona,” said Mike Bianco CEO of AvAir. “I would like to thank our employees for their continued hard work, upholding AvAirs’ values – working with integrity, building strong relationships and providing solutions for our customers. We are committed to the continued growth of our company culture that supports our employees in a variety of ways.”

“This year’s Top Companies were selected based on the results of a very high favorable employee survey scores averaging 90% overall survey results and an impressive 92% overall employee engagement. This level of performance for Arizona companies is about three times the national average when compared to Gallup’s recent reporting of US engagement at about one-third favorable,” says Jaime Zepeda, EVP Best Companies Group. “These winners should be very proud of their Top Companies status for this presents a powerful opportunity to attract and retain the very best talent.”