Freshening up your aircraft’s interior can be an important update for many reasons. In addition to looking good, it increases your and your passengers’ comfort. New carpet and seat coverings often add value to your aircraft while reducing cockpit noise and vibration.
Many pilots dream of the day their airplane’s cockpit is a Perfect 10, and for many, leather seats are at the top of the wish list. “There is nothing more beautiful than a leather interior in a plane—especially one that is custom designed in colors to give the plane a ‘total package’ look,” said Mike Hudyma, Vice President of SCS Interiors (“Style-Comfort-Security”) in Duluth, Minn.
Additional features that add beauty to a plane interior are the amenities such as leather armrests, yoke controls, door handles and similar items which are hand-stitched.
All materials utilized in any interior products must meet the FAA’s flammability requirements.
“Occasionally we will have a customer who asks why the carpet for his plane costs more than something he could buy at his local carpet market,” said Hudyma. “Besides the customization in cutting the carpet to the template of a specific aircraft, SCS Interiors must provide carpet—or vinyl flooring—which meets specific FAA burn certification standards.”
“In addition, the selection of the appropriate materials for flooring requires consideration of a durable product but also one that is not too heavy. Often pilots want to add noise-dampening materials under the carpet. These materials are usually very lightweight—but effective—and together with the carpet provide a quieter ride by reducing vibration and noise.
“Depending on the model of the aircraft, additional carpet may also be sewn on side panels. As a pilot considers the total weight of their aircraft, the flooring will be a part of the weight, which may result in less fuel being loaded—thus, less flying,” Hudyma continued.
Attention to detail is key for a do-it-yourself installation. “It’s important to remove the old carpet and properly prepare the surface for the new installation. This is a good time to remove potentially dangerous debris as loose particles will make adhesion difficult for whatever bonding material is utilized for the new carpet,” Hudyma explained.
A typical installation uses Velcro and contact cement. “SCS Interiors’ kits come with the necessary Velcro,” said Hudyma
Pre-cut kits for a Piper PA-28-161 are listed at $395 for carpet (with optional side panels) and $660 for vinyl on the SCS Interiors website (other Piper models are available, too). SCS also offers floor mats, wing mats, cargo area mats, cleaning products and accessories.
SCS Interiors has been serving the aerospace industry for more than 15 years, so they know their customers. “We know pilots love any opportunity to fly in beautiful weather,” said Hudyma, “and many like the added comfort of a sheepskin seat cover which provides warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer.”
And they also know that pilots fly with their pets, so they’ve developed a product for those four-legged family members. “Fido may also like to have his own comfort mat if he is enjoying the plane trip, too,” said Hudyma. SCS Interiors provides carpet doggy mats for man’s best friend.
SCS Interiors’ owners David Hudyma, a military veteran, and his son, Mike Hudyma, have guided the company through several expansions to its current state-of-the-art facility in Duluth. The 40-year-old company’s custom interior products are designed, developed and manufactured in Minnesota—truly, made in the USA.