The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Quite Possibly One of the Coolest Aircraft Paint Schemes Ever: Video

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Thu, Nov 05, 2015 @ 11:07 AM


Our client wanted an aircraft that stood out among other aircraft. I believe we achieved that goal. What do you think? 

The paint products used for the two-tone aesthetic of the project were two primary systems: Sherwin Williams satin black base with satin clear coat and Axalta Chromalusion’s “color changing” base coat color called Perfect Jade followed by a gloss clear coat.

The Gulfstream GV, N888XY, is branded SEXYjet and is managed by Metropolitan Aviation. For more information about the design collaboration and paint process, go here:

See a time-lapse video of this beautiful paint project below. 

Tags: Paint Refurbishment, Videos

How Are You Celebrating National Aviation Day?

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 @ 03:02 PM

In 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed this day, August 19, to be National Aviation Day to celebrate the history and development of aviation. This date coincides with the birthday of Orville Wright who, together with his brother Wilbur, made significant contributions to powered flight.

Today, like every other day of the year, Duncan Aviation celebrates aviation as the largest, family owned business aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company in the world, with over 2,000 employees. We celebrate with gratitude, as the perseverance of the Wright brothers has made a huge impact on the lives of everyone within business aviation. 

For the next two days, Duncan Aviation will celebrate its Founder’s Day, commemorating Donald Duncan’s birthday. Donald is the company’s founder and the grandfather to Duncan Aviation’s Chairman, Todd Duncan. This is a day for Duncan Aviation team members to pause and reflect on Duncan Aviation’s rich history while looking forward to a promising future.


Duncan Aviation’s Chairman, Todd Duncan, visits the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, while on a family vacation.

That history is based upon a set of ideals passed down from Donald through Robert Duncan, Duncan Aviation’s Chairman Emeritus, and now to Todd Duncan. These values are dedicated to keeping a family culture as the company grew, no matter how many employees or locations. From the beginning, Duncan Aviation’s Core Values were not something that had to be memorized or learned by employees because they were simply a description of who they were and how they did business every day. Duncan Aviation team members embody excellence and a passion for aviation that shows in their work every day.

Duncan Aviation Across Six Decades

Duncan Aviation was established in 1956 in Clarinda, Iowa, during the prosperous years after WWI and earliest years of business aviation. You could say they have been in the business from the beginning and played a major part in its early development.  

Over the next six decades, Duncan Aviation grew from a single location in Omaha, Nebraska, to an international business aviation pioneer with locations all across the United States and team members around the globe.

Duncan Pride

Aviation is obviously very important to us. We live it every day. For many team members, who hold personal and commercial pilots license and still go flying on evenings and weekends after they have spent their entire day or week working on someone else’s aircraft, it is a passion. They say it’s in the blood.

Watch Duncan Aviation’s Core Values video, as team members express why the company’s Core Values resonate so much with their teams and how they can be seen in every aspect of their workday.

Let’s All Scream For Ice Cream

Every day is the National Day of something. And because there are so many things wanting their day in the spotlight, some have to share. So while we reminisce about aviation history, how it’s changed and where it’s headed, go out and grab your favorite soft-serve because it’s National Soft Ice Cream Day too!  

Tags: Announcements, Careers & Recruiting, Videos

Video: Todd Duncan Explains the Strength of Duncan Aviation

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, May 13, 2015 @ 09:03 AM

Todd_Robert_PK_Harrison_blogAs the fourth generation of  the Duncan family joins the team, the company is focused squarely on the future. 

In this video, listen as Todd Duncan explains the strength of Duncan Aviation and what it means for the long-term.

“It's a long term prospect for my family. It's a long term prospect for our team members. And for the customers who use us, they understand it's a long-term prospect for our relationship."  

—Todd Duncan, Chairman. 

Tags: Announcements, Careers & Recruiting, Videos

Duncan Aviation Paints Virgin's Galactic Girl

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Wed, May 06, 2015 @ 01:00 PM

GalaticGirl4_blogWe can finally talk about this super secret project our Battle Creak, Michigan, paint team completed. 

The challenge: Paint Virgin's Galactic Girl.

The aircraft: Falcon 900EX.

The solution: Our team partnered with artist, John Stahr, to airbrush the well-known logo. When a customer comes to Duncan Aviation with a unique request, we make it happen. Watch the process in just a minute and a half.


Tags: Paint Refurbishment, Videos

An Aircraft Gyro Reminder That Will Save You Thousands of Dollars

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:25 AM

handlelikeeggsSubmitted by Curt Campbell, avionics tech rep

There have been many articles and videos in the Duncan Intelligence over the years, written and produced by tech reps and technicians at Duncan Aviation about the proper care and maintenance of an aircraft gyro. 

However, it wasn't long ago that I got a call from an operator who was having precession errors and failures to erect on his gyro. It didn't take long for me to figure out that the cause of his issue was the result of the gyro not being allowed enough time (20 minutes) to spool-down before the aircraft was moved.

He stated his crew wasn't aware of this required spool-down time. This oversight unfortunately required a complete overhaul of the gyro, costing several thousand dollars.

Time for another reminder..

I encourage you to share this information with all personnel tasked with aircraft movement/maintenance in your company. Below are links for your use. You can bookmark them for future reference.

Gyro Handling Care

(VIDEO) How To Care For Your Aircraft Gyro: Proper Spool-Down Time
(VIDEO) How to Care for Your Aircraft Gyro: Handle Like Eggs
Proper Handling of Your Gyroscope

Gyro Shipping Procedures

Critical Shipping Procedures When Transporting An Aircraft Gyroscope
Critical Shipping Procedures: Two-Box Shipping Method

Gyro Maintenance

What are Electrolytic Leveling Switches and Why Should You Care?
What Happens During an L-3 Vertical Gyro Overhaul?
Recommended Service Bulletins for L-3 Vertical Gyros
Recommended Service Bulletins for Honeywell Vertical and Directional Gyros
What Happens During an L-3 Vertical Gyro Overhaul?

Gyro Exchange Units

Honeywell Aerospace VG14A Gyro SPEX Exchanges

Duncan Intelligence

You can get technical articles like these in your in-box every month by subscribing to the Duncan Aviation Duncan Intelligence. 

Duncan Intelligence Subscribe Now

Tags: Avionics & Instruments, Videos

Video: Citation 560 Excel Aircraft Paint—Taking It Off

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Thu, Apr 02, 2015 @ 12:07 PM

Citation-560XL-paintContributed by Nate Klenke, completion sales rep

Ever wonder what happens during the first few days your business jet is in getting a new exterior paint?   

During the earliest stage of the repainting process the aircraft is prepared for the existing paint to be removed. After all composites and other areas on the aircraft are protected, a yellowish peroxide-based stripper is applied and then the paint just begins falling off.

To the casual observer, your jet appears to be sitting around waiting with very little activity. But in reality quite a lot is happening. You just have to be patient and wait…and watch…a long time…nearly two days. But don’t blink, you could miss something.

Seriously, unless you have time to hang out for a weekend at a Duncan Aviation paint facility, you’ll just have to take my word that paint stripping magic is happening.

After a quick scrub, second application and a rinse to neutralize the stripper, all of the protective taping is removed and your aircraft is ready for the next step towards its new look.

Video Magic

Over this past weekend we captured a Citation 560 Excel at our Lincoln Nebraska, facility as it began the paint-stripping process.

We shortened and sped up this two-day event into a 60 second video. But don’t blink; you still could miss something.  

Tags: Paint Refurbishment, Videos

Robert Duncan is a “Game Changer” at NBAA Leadership Conference

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 @ 04:10 PM

Robert-at-NBAA"Years ago, I told our employees that not only do we want to be the best company in business aviation …but we wanted to be one of the best companies in all of business.” –Robert Duncan

At the recent NBAA Leadership Conference held in Dallas, TX, Robert Duncan, Duncan Aviation’s Chairman Emeritus, was one of nine featured “game changers” delivering inspirational messages via pre-recorded video.

"There are so many great people and businesses throughout our industry, and this is one way we can recognize and tell their story – and the story of business aviation," said Jeannine Falter, vice president of business development at Duncan Aviation and a co-chair of the conference, which is planned by NBAA's Corporate Aviation Management Committee.

View Robert’s video message below.


Tags: Announcements, Videos, NBAA

Sales Team Answers Top Paint Refurbishment Questions

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 12:31 PM

A paint refurbishment can completely transform and revive an aircraft, but this update comes with a downtime of several weeks and a hefty price tag.

Although many of the customer projects Duncan Aviation delivers don’t necessarily lend well to generic FAQs, a general pattern of questions do emerge from prospects looking to have their aircraft repainted.

Here are the top two:


The simple answer is once every five-to-six years - if you hangar your aircraft and wash it frequently. Try to avoid flying near to saltwater or snow where de-icing products are used. Inspect for chips on a regular basis, and stay current on your touch-ups. If you can stick to those rules of thumb, then you can maximize the life of your aircraft paint work.

Of course, the above pointers are pretty unrealistic for most business aircraft operators - so, if you’re looking to avoid even more expensive corrosion issues you should take your aircraft in for a full paint refurbishment every half-decade.

An ideal time to repaint your aircraft is during a major maintenance event.

For example, we recommend Falcon owners sync a strip and paint with their major C-maintenance event, which occurs every six years.


“Anyone can shoot a glossy coat of paint,” says Completions Sales Representative George Bajo, “but the value is in the details and proven processes.

“It’s all about the details. That’s what you pay for, and that’s what customers need to really look at when they’re comparing quotes. These bonus items cost a bit more, but the added value is definitely worth it.”

The attention to detail at the sealed windows and cleanliness of the painted landing gear are evidence of a job done right. New stair treads; dressed boots; wiped down wheels and wheel wells; painting inside of gear doors; radome boots that don’t yellow; and erosion tape are extras that customers should expect as a part of the service.


A team member helps prep a Gulfstream GV in Duncan Aviation's Lincoln, Nebraska, facility. View time-lapse video


  • Want to learn more about the futrue of paint refurbishment? Download our free Chrome-Free Aircraft Paint Systems Field Guide.
  • Watch an incredible time-lapse video of a Duncan Aviation paint refurbishment on a Bombardier Global 5000.
  • How about this time-lapse video of a lime-gree M2 livery?  

Tags: Paint Refurbishment, Videos

4 Tips on Military Transition to Civilian Employment

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 @ 03:24 PM

Military Departure Advice

Getting out of the military soon? If you are interested in beginning or continuing your aviation career with Duncan Aviation, we offer a few tips on transitioning from military service to civilian employment. This advice comes directly from Duncan Aviation employees.

Plan early

Don’t wait until four weeks before your departure date to begin preparing your resume. As soon as you make the decision to leave the military, begin planning your transition. Resume Writing Tips.

Use all available resources

Today’s technology allows almost anyone to search and apply for employment nearly everywhere in the world. Take advantage of the internet; utilize all resources your branch of the military has to offer and network with military friends and other connections. Military Transition Assistance FAQ.

Narrow the scope of your job search

Knowing what you want to do or where you want to live can help you focus your efforts & conduct a more controlled & effective search. Do you want to stay in a particular geographic area or focus on a targeted occupation?

Use proper terminology

When creating a resume and filling out applications, do not assume that the corporate recruiter will understand military terminology. Be clear on how your military training can translate into the job for which you are interviewing.

Putting Your Military Skills to Good Use

For many years at Duncan Aviation, some of our best employees and mechanics have been trained by and served for our country. As a matter of fact, more than 25% of our employees serve or have served in the armed services. Almost every branch of the military is represented at Duncan Aviation in departments and shops such as airframe maintenance, avionics install, turbine engine services and engineering, to name a few.

Although entering civilian employment will be a major life adjustment, there are many things at Duncan Aviation that will remain the same: attention to the details of your work, focus on getting the job done right and the support from fellow employees. We are proud of our employees and the quality workmanship they put into the products and services we offer.

We strongly encourage military personnel to apply for career opportunities.

Duncan Aviation is an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer.

Talk to Duncan Aviation's Recruiting Contact Today

Tags: Careers & Recruiting, Videos

Robert Duncan: Flying Away to Gain Perspective

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 11:32 AM

During the first week of March, Duncan Aviation’s Chairman Emeritus Robert Duncan, Chairman Todd Duncan, Vice President Jeannine Falter and Regional Manager Alan Huggett devoted three days to visiting competitors and customers while breaking in the new Citation M2. They spent the final two days of the work week at a Customer Advisory Board meeting at Duncan Aviation’s Provo, Utah, facility. Shortly after his return, Robert reflected on the trip and provided the following observations.

Robert Duncan with the M2

Robert Duncan stands next to Duncan Aviation's Citation M2 with a new double-take design. Click here to watch a timelapse video of the M2's unique scheme.

It’s not often we allot ourselves much time to step away from the many Duncan Aviation locations and look at what we’re doing from an outsider’s perspective. It’s even rarer that we get to monitor what our competitors are doing. After three days of doing just that, I came away with a few overwhelming impressions.

Renewed Appreciation for Bizav

The amount of work we completed in just a few days would be unthinkable if we had flown commercially. We spent about 10 hours in the air, which equates to about 3,500 miles traveled in one work week. That itinerary would be impossible to keep with using any other mode of transportation. We could have easily added another week to the trip had we flown commercially.

What a business aircraft can do for a company is increase productivity. We service the aircraft that keep the business world moving at an incredible pace. We help connect the world and support the global presence for many businesses. Taking part in that process first-hand reminded me how important our work is and how much it affects the business world every minute of every day.

Marketing Our Success Is as Simple as Showing Our Products

Thanks to our paint team, no arrival or departure went unnoticed. The M2 is a flying billboard that highlights the creativity of our design team and the high-quality product our paint team produces. One of the first things people do when they see the aircraft is go up and touch the surface; they’re amazed at how smooth it is.

That’s the best form of marketing—making our product available and letting people take it in.

When the plaid Mustang was first completed and flown, people would say, “oh, that’s interesting,” which meant they didn’t like it. In contrast, everyone has had a positive reaction to this paint scheme. The M2 had a huge visual impact and was universally liked. That’s a win on many levels.

Duncan Aviation Pride

The trip taught us that although we have a lot of competition, we have even more to be proud of.

I was overwhelmed by the remarkable respect and admiration people in the aviation community have for our company and people. I often come back from these trips on a high because I get to see all of our accomplishments from the outside looking in, through the lens of those who see us as friends and adversaries.

The aviation community spans the globe, but it’s a relatively small community, meaning close-knit relationships are key. We visited two competitors, who we also view as customers because, well, we do business with everyone.

We were incredibly well-received by both companies and plan to work more closely with them in the future. They each have unique talents and niches, and we want to support those by offering services they can’t perform on their own. By supporting them and ensuring we deliver a product up to our standards, we keep their customers happy, consequently keeping them happy. As we continue to deliver, those relationships become stronger. This is one of the main goals of our avionics shops, and rapid response teams.

Reflection Leads to Innovation

Often times, we’re so immersed in what’s going on day-to-day, it’s hard to generate new ideas and think creatively, which is why it’s important to get out and expose ourselves and the rest of the team to new ideas.

After I walked through our competitors’ hangars and listened to our customers suggest improvement at the advisory board meeting, I spent hours recording all the possible avenues we could consider for Duncan Aviation’s distant and more immediate future. The trip yielded more work for our many locations and sparked the start of a few new relationships. It spurred some great ideas and allowed us to pat ourselves on the back a bit.

What we do each day is impressive. Because we remain on the cutting edge and invest in our future, what we do tomorrow and the next day will be extraordinary. We are unlike any other. We are Duncan Aviation.

View Duncan Aviation's company video      

Our Work Speaks For Itself

Tags: Duncan Aviation-Provo, Announcements, Careers & Recruiting, Videos


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