Having seen some of Wipaire’s Caravan interiors, Bruce elected to contact Wipaire as he was evaluating options for services providers. After several interactions, Bruce was understandably anxious about the significant work scope and elected to visit Wipaire in person last November. “At the time, I was looking at several different shops. Everyone else was trying to sell me a cheap job, and I wanted a quality job.” To discuss the interior project, he met with Will Perez, our interiors manager.
“Will did a phenomenal job of diagnosing what I wanted,” Bruce commented. “He and Jim (Halfen, interiors shop supervisor) were able to transform the sketchy ideas I provided into a spectacular project. Within about an hour, we had settled on the concept that was used in the airplane.”
Bruce’s first concern was durability and how the interior would show wear. With bases in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Colorado, he frequently flies with his dogs and cat, and didn’t want a high-maintenance interior that would require constant upkeep. He knew he wanted darker colors that wouldn’t show wear easily, but didn’t have specific selections made. “Will showed me some darker colors of leather, and came up with the idea for the alligator-embossed leather for an accent. He and Jim also suggested a flecked carpet that doesn’t show dirt. They were alerting me to things that I wouldn’t have noticed on my own, which was fantastic.”
Will added, “This project was just fun. It was outside the standard material selections, and we really enjoyed working with Bruce to develop something unique. He identified with creating something that no one else had, and that’s always a lot of fun.”
While the aircraft was a well-kept, low-time airplane, several design features were beginning to reveal the airplane’s age. The seat upholstery style was outdated, so Will worked with Bruce to define what look and functionality was desired. “We made the seats close to two inches wider, while changing the headrest and seat back design. The result is a more streamlined and modern appearance that also provides more room. Since Bruce routinely travels with his family in this airplane, comfort and function are key considerations,” Will stated.
The seats feature a vintage-look leather that has rugged yet modern “lived in” look that doesn’t show wear easily. The seat back incorporates the alligator-embossed leather, which is also used on the sidewalls to maintain continuity throughout the interior. The headliner was refreshed with a neutral color that offsets the darker material choices and creates a refined atmosphere with plenty of light.