With more than 25 ExecLiner corporate conversions of Canadair CRJ200 regional jets contracted and an expanding clientele in the Asia Pacific region for work on other Bombardier products, Flying Colours (Booth No. 912) is close to selecting a Far East partner.
Calgary-based KR Industrial Design & Consulting has developed the Aero navigation in-cockpit mount for iPads, which it bills as an “ergonomically mounted fixture” at a pilot’s fingertips. The iPad mount was recently certified by Transport Canada and is currently available for the Canadair Regional Jet, though other rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft models will soon be added, KRIDC said. Pricing for the Aero mount starts at about $1,200 per installation. The company is now working on FAA STC approval and is mulling EASA certification.
While much of the completion and refurbishment industry was battling to remain afloat during the recession, Flying Colours in the quiet Canadian city of Peterborough, Ontario, discovered a niche market in converting retired Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs) to executive use, and more recently, abundant work outfitting green Challenger 850s from Bombardier.
Asked at the 1986 Farnborough airshow what market share Canadair wanted for the Challenger corporate jet, Donald Lowe said simply, “We want our third.” Lowe was chief executive designate at the government-owned aircraft company that Canadian mass-transit manufacturer Bombardier had agreed to acquire just three weeks earlier.
Orders for Bombardier’s Challenger 850 are keeping Canadian MRO, completion and refurbishment center Flying Colours (Stand 1935) busy installing interiors in these purpose-built executive/VIP descendants of the Canadair CRJ200 regional jet.
Canadian aircraft services center Flying Colours has been talking to potential partners outside North America to support operators of a growing number of Canadair CRJ200 conversions for which Flying Colours did the cabin outfitting.
Canada's Flying Colours is talking to potential partners outside North America to support operators for which it has completed Bombardier Challengers. About 90 percent of its clients to date have been on other continents and it has already had preliminary discussions with prospective joint venture partners.
The buzz, as these words are written, is that Bombardier planned to unveil a “Super Global” here at the NBAA Convention, and in the end the company was not able to maintain complete radio silence. Possibly alarmed at the prospect of too much substantial chatter erupting ahead of time, the company chose to confirm the basic premise of its planned announcement on September 30.
In the U.S. the FAA bestows its Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” award on people who have spent more than 50 years in the aircraft maintenance profession. Canada doesn’t seem to offer the same level of recognition for such achievements, but if it did, the name of Leslie Pingel would be high on the list. Pingel, 89, has spent 64 years in aircraft maintenance positions and is still working for Tag Aeronautics as director of technical support.
When is a business jet not a business jet?–When it has been developed into a regional jet that has been converted into a corporate jet. Some of those conversions, such as that of the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet Series 200 (CRJ200), itself based on the CL-600 Challenger business jet, have enjoyed mixed fortunes.