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By Adam Doyle – Paint and Interior Sales Manager
Whether you are purchasing an aircraft or thinking of selling your current aircraft, a little bit of interior refurbishment can go a long way. Potentially, partial refurbishments can dramatically affect the look and functionality of your aircraft interior so that it not only fits your short-term mission requirements, but will be more attractive for the next buyer of the aircraft.
Choose Colors Wisely
If you are not planning to own the aircraft for very long, make sure you choose colors that would benefit resale. Keep it clean and bright. Be sure to use neutral colors. If you do want to add a splash of color, make sure it’s something easy to replace such as an accent strip, curtain or pillows.
Most Dramatic Change
A partial change that is likely to have the biggest visual effect would be your seats and carpet. These items see the most traffic and ultimately get the most wear and tear. They trap a lot of dirt, odor and can become discolored.
If your base components are in good shape, you can make minimal changes that will make a big difference. For instance, if your seat foam is in good shape, you can potentially reuse your current foam and just re-cover your seats. If your seat leather is in good shape, a deep cleaning may make a dramatic difference. Depending on if the seats have been previously dyed, another option may be dying the seat leather.
There are many expensive hand-tufted carpets, but there are also many high-quality, durable machine tufted carpets. Although machine tufted carpets have a reputation of being lower quality, that is not necessarily the case. Many machined carpets offer similar quality at a lower price.
Cleaning Can Make a Difference
In addition to the carpets and seats, a deep cleaning can make a big difference. There are several tips and tricks we’ve covered in previous articles to clean woodwork, ultra leathers and more.
Potential Problem Areas
There are some areas in your aircraft interior that are potential problem areas and will not be resolved with a quick, inexpensive solution. The main areas would be popped, cracked or cloudy veneer, scratched laminate and plating.
When a veneer is popped, cracked, or cloudy, it has to be replaced. Many times, problems in veneer stem from when the original coating was applied. If the coating was applied too thick or was not given the proper drying time or conditions, major problems arise. The stresses an aircraft undergoes in a short amount of time, including major temperature and pressure changes, ultimately expose a veneer that was improperly coated.
Laminate is just a decorative layer of plastic. Since the printing on the laminate doesn’t go all the way through to the bottom, deep scratches can be very visible. The good news is that, for the most part, laminate tends to be very durable and is less likely to show minor scratches over other materials. Plating is one item that can be very expensive to replace. Unfortunately, there are very few options to fix plating other than to replace it completely.
Keeping the Resale in Mind
Keep in mind that your aircraft is competing with many other aircraft. It is not only competing within a particular make/model/year, but with many other aircraft makes and models in its class. The better you keep it looking and the more universal appeal it has, the better off you are when it comes to attracting the right buyer.
Adam Doyle joined Elliott Aviation in 2000 as an interior technician after graduating from Wyoming Technical Institute. While at Elliott Aviation, Adam has earned many different promotions on the shop floor including Install Team Lead, Soft Goods Team Lead, Assistant Interior Shop Manager and Seat Shop Manager. Adam’s most recent promotion has been to Paint and Interior Sales Representative for Elliott Aviation. He uses his experience with various vendors, products and processes to educate our clients by providing direction and helping plan for future investment with realistic and accurate figures.