Wings Magazine

Flying Colours Corp. begins work ambitious CRJ 200 conversion

April 26, 2012, Peterborough, Ont. - Flying Colours Corp. have begun work on its most ambitious conversion of the Bombardier CRJ 200 regional airliner to date.

April 26, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

The business, which has so far converted 12 CRJ’s to the ‘ExecLiner’ executive VIP format, is working with the private owner’s designer Harry Schnaper – who has featured in the Architectural Digest’s top 100 of the world’s best designers – its lead in-house designer Kate Ahrens and its engineering team to create externally and internally what will be its most complex, bespoke ExecLiner conversion yet.
The state-of-the-art aircraft will incorporate a number of “firsts” which have involved extensive engineering and design innovation from the Flying Colours team. A clean sheet design shower will be included in the aft lavatory and will be the first time a CRJ conversion has had one installed. The aft cabin will be equipped with a customized pivoting bed enabling passengers to position the bed against the wall when not in use. The cockpit will feature Elbit systems’ heads-up-display and Infra-Red Synthetic Vision System, which will be another first as it has not previously been installed on a Bombardier RJ./850 conversion. To remove cigar smoke, galley smells and ensure clean cabin air at all times an integrated smoke extraction system has been custom-designed by Flying Colours Corp. to remove smoke from the cabin while inflight.
The forward aircraft cabin features six electric seats, which have been manufactured in cooperation with AST Seating and feature options for recline, vertical adjustment, leg rests and include a memory pre-set option along with electric heating, massage features and controllable lumbar support options. There is also a compartment in the seats for holding iPads which is just one part of an extensive enhanced IFE system. The communications and aircraft IFE has been custom-designed in conjunction with Esoteric, producers of SkyPad, the in air touch screen control system, and will enable users to browse all on-board media, control the IFE and adjust the lights, blinds and temperature in the cabin via an iPad. The system links to the SkyPad System Backbone and will be supported through a Viasat-Ku band for high speed internet access. To maximise the tailored IFE the headphones have been specifically designed for the aircraft by Ultrasone of Tutzing, Germany.
Other IFE features include dedicated video teleconferencing, a 20TB server holding in excess of 7500 films and 52000 songs, a True North Phone System with five dedicated telephone lines and the ability to project presentations on all monitors at each seat, and even in the bedroom. A pair of matching pull-out desks for laptops in the main cabin has been configured to support Windows or Mac operating systems. 
The extensive conversion features bathrooms with custom designed wood veneer cabinetry which is complemented by platinum plated hardware and Dornbracht plumbing fixtures. Touch screen controls ensure passengers are in control of IFE even in the bathroom. The galley and annex area features similar wood inlays and platinum hardware alongside a convection/broil oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, blender and Nespresso machine. Dark granite countertops complement the galley courtesy of the preferred partnership status Flying Colours Corp. holds with LIST Components & Furniture GMBH of Austria. Sterling silver flatware, table accessories and serving pieces have been specifically made by Puiforcat, Paris, France, and table and bed linens are exclusively provided for the aircraft by Stella, New York, New York.
“The client wanted an aircraft completely personalised to his requirements. He wanted to sleep, shower, and effectively have the option to live on his aircraft when travelling on business. He also wanted to maximise his investment so the CRJ conversion was the perfect solution for him. With the high specification design to be implemented by the Flying Colours team he is effectively benefitting from a cabin with features similar to a narrow body aircraft, but without the associated cost,” said Eric Gillespie, Flying Colours corp. director and project manager for the conversion.
The certification will be based on an existing STCs held by Flying Colours Corp. but final certification will be completed through a new FAA STC. It is anticipated the aircraft will be finished in the spring of 2013 and will be available for limited charter through Maine Aviation Corp., based in Portland Maine.


Stories continue below