Maintenance Matters

March 2008 Issue

Interior Shop Survey: Great Results for a Price

From a couple new seats to a full interior makeover, the successful formula is quality shop plus an informed and assertive owner. The most expensive isnít always the best.

Itís the scope of aircraft interior work thatís hard for many owners to wrap their mind around. Imagine you want to spruce up your living room. You could spring for a couple slip covers for the tired couch and put down a new throw rug. Or you could strip out everything right down to the studs in the walls and build it up fresh with new wall boards, carpet, built-in bookshelves Ö you get the idea. Looking at our recent reader survey, aircraft owners exercise the same range of upgrade options on their aircraft. With over 200 responses we saw everything from slip covers to cabin-class makeovers that cost more than a small house. Even trying to narrow this down to the standard seats, panels, headliner, and carpet work to compare is difficult. Consider that some shops might remove a pilot-side panel, clean it, paint it, recover the armrest, and reinstall it. Other shops would take that same panel and refinish the surface, dye penetrate the plastic for color and UV protection or cloth-cover it, perhaps add pen and chart holders or remove and cover a long-unused ash tray, rebuild the foam in the armrest and cover that with Italian leather.

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