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Tue, Sep 23, 2008

M7 Aerospace and San Antonio Aircraft Support Team to Open Interior Mod Center

M7 Aerospace has teamed with San Antonio Aircraft Support (SAAS) to create a major modification center in San Antonio specializing in custom corporate interiors for regional airliners, business aircraft and helicopters needing interior or avionics upgrades.

The new modification center combines the strength of M7's Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul operation and its Engineering department with SAAS's nearly 30 years of experience in fabricating interior furnishings for head-of-state and corporate VIP executive aircraft.

John Schildroth, vice president of M7's MRO operation, said the new modification and completion center will specialize in aircraft including the Canadair CRJ, Embraer ERJ, ATR 42 and 72, Dornier 328 turboprops and jets, Saab 340 and 2000 series, Bombardier Dash 7 and 8 series and other regional airliners, as well as Dassault Falcon, Hawker, Citation and Lear business jets, King Air and Metro/Merlin business turboprops, and various models of Bell, Sikorsky, AgustaWestland and MD helicopters.

"SAAS will design and fabricate the interiors," Schildroth explained, "and M7 will install and certify them. We are essentially providing complete makeovers for corporate and regional airline aircraft, giving them a new life and a new identity."

Schildroth (pictured right) said M7 will also offer complete avionics upgrades, converting aircraft equipped with older technology avionics to complete glass panel installations. M7 has extensive experience in designing avionics upgrades, and was recently selected by the U.S. Army to perform a glass panel avionics upgrade for a fleet of its utility aircraft.

M7 will accomplish the completions at its 426,000 sq ft factory facility on the San Antonio International Airport. SAAS will design and prepare the interior furnishings at its 16,000 sq ft. facility at 27 Burwood Lane in San Antonio, near the international airport.

Roland Dishmon, president of SAAS, said his company will concentrate on its core expertise - designing, developing and fabricating creative high quality interior furnishings for a broad array of business jets. Over the past 30 years SAAS has done executive interiors for aircraft including a Boeing 747-300, two 747 SPs, an Airbus A-310, a Boeing 767-200 and a 767-300, all for head of state clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Additional SAAS programs have included a Boeing 757, three Airbus A-340s, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11, Boeing 737, 727 and 707, all for VIP clients around the world. The company has also worked on Falcon 10, 20, 50, 200 and 900 models, Fairchild Dornier 328s, Bombardier Galaxies and Challengers, an Embraer ERJ-135 Legacy, a Boeing BBJ, Learjet 24 thru 55 models, as well as numerous Cessna Citation, Beechjet, Hawker and King Air models.

SAAS will handle all aspects of interior development for the aircraft it will modify jointly with M7, including cabinet design and development, wood working, seat upholstery, burn testing, carpets and headliners, paint and faux finishing, and machining of hardware and sheet metal to support the installation.

M7, which has extensive experience in working with regional airline aircraft and helicopters, will install the interiors and certify the STCs necessary for their installation with the FAA. In addition to installing executive interiors, M7 has converted more than 45 ATR 42 and 72 regional airliners from passenger to freight configuration. It also maintains Fairchild Dornier 328 turboprops and jets, and is the OEM for the Fairchild Merlin and Metro series of business and regional airline turboprops, holding the type certificates for these aircraft. M7 has also rebuilt center sections for Ericsson Air Crane, originally Sikorsky S-64 helicopters.

A particular strength for the M7 - SAAS team is M7's Engineering Department, which developed the STCs to convert the ATR 42s and 72s, and developed smoke detection systems to support the cargo conversions. M7 engineering has also designed structures including doors and escape hatches for numerous helicopter programs, and has developed STCs for aircraft operated by the U.S. Military as well as corporate and regional airline aircraft. The company employs a fulltime engineering staff of more than 25.

Schildroth said M7 will serve as prime contractor for the programs it does in conjunction with SAAS.

FMI: www.m7aerospace.com, www.completions.us

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