This is an area of the aerospace industry that operates very discreetly – as one can imagine. The customers are typically heads of state or corporations. What they do is, essentially, nobody else’s business.
But the work behind creating these aircraft, turning a basic airframe into literally a flying office and home, is amazing. The Internet offers many pictures and even video of visits on board such aircraft. The opulence is fabulous and only serves to remind the rest of us of what can be done with an aircraft when it’s not in the hands of an airline.
One such conversion “shop” is Emerald Aerospace, based in that aerospace hub of creativity, Wichita, Kansas. Emerald Aerospace is a highly regarded, fairly recent entrant in the highly specialized “Very Very Important Persons“(VVIP) Widebody Completion market.
Take a look at this video showing how the company turned an old Boeing hanger into a workspace.
There are some less known aspects to this location: Few completion centers in the world have what Emerald was able to establish. For example, this facility is situated adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base with the intrinsic security that offers. Secondly the former Boeing facility Emerald took over was once used to build and maintain Air Force One. Consequently, this facility has one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures. Thus, Emerald will be able to offer one of the most secure centers anywhere in the world. Which is just what its customers want. Plus, it has a workforce that is qualified to build and install head of State and VVIP interiors.
Recently a major Head of State Completion contract, with an international customer, was awarded to the Emerald team. The work will not be accomplished at Emeralds Wichita base but rather at another location.
Meanwhile, Emerald will retain a Wichita presence and still maintains its own Part 145 Repair Station Certificate. The company retains a solid pipeline of business extending over the next 5 to 7 years. Industry rumors are that several new potential teaming “partners” have approached Emerald.