The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

myDuncan: The Vital Communication Tool Every Maintenance Event Needs

Posted by Lori Johnson on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

A little more than 10 years ago, a team of Duncan Aviation project managers and computer programmers had a vision for a communication tool that would help them provide even better customer service and more efficient approvals and keep everyone involved in a complicated multi-shop aircraft project up-to-date. The result, which launched in September 2006, was myDuncan, a web-based portal that allows customers greater access and better control of their projects from anywhere in the world.

myDuncan has been a phenomenal success. It is available to all Duncan Aviation customers with aircraft onsite for airframe, avionics, and engine projects. They can also manage send-in repairs with Component Status Tracking. Nearly all customers transform their computers and mobile devices into “virtual offices” to manage their aircraft projects whether they stay with their aircraft or not. And many travel back to their home bases.

Of the 2,343 aircraft projects delivered in 2016, more than half were managed off-site, allowing the aircraft representatives to stay current on project status, item approvals, and budget while keeping up on things at work and at home.

 Read what Duncan Aviation customers are saying about the benefits myDuncan in the Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief magazine.

READ NOW Spring 2017 Duncan Debrief Magazine



Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Videos

Bombardier Global Express: Before & After [Video]

Posted by Kate Dolan on Tue, Apr 04, 2017 @ 08:00 AM

Inspired by the owner’s preference for a sleek, modernized interior and a flair unique to his tastes, Duncan Aviation Senior Designer Mary Lee transformed the interior of this Bombardier Global Express from its traditional, outdated neutral environment into one of contemporary luxury.

In order to capture his vision of a sporty yet sophisticated environment, the design concept began by incorporating blue carbon fiber and silver metallic painted cabinetry in place of traditional wood veneer.

Global-video-blog2.jpgAfter walking up the Duncan-Aviation-designed stainless and neoprene entry steps, you see the first stunning feature: the custom blue LED-illuminated wine cabinet.

The owner’s passion for fine wines and gourmet cooking became an inspiration for the final galley design.

As you watch the video below, note the unique features and details throughout the aircraft. The angled touch-screen bezels and chrome inlays, for example, were designed and manufactured by our in-house fabrication team.

The blue LED-illuminated cup holders are also an exclusive Duncan-Aviation design and were incorporated into the drinkrail to complement the ambient blue floor lighting.

The blue carbon fiber served as the unifying element to achieve balance throughout the cabin and the focal point on the bulkhead dividers.

If you would like to see what this Bombardier Global Express looked like before this transformation, read the Fall 2016 Duncan Debrief article.

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Videos, Bombardier Global

A Customer's Simple Act Speaks Louder Than Words of Praise

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

Earlier this year at our Lincoln, Nebraska, facility, we re-installed three Honeywell TFE731-60 engines fresh from their initial 3,000 hour MPI on their Falcon 900EX, that delivered on-time from its major C-inspection. The aircraft’s first scheduled flight back in rotation was a trip to Europe.

With decades of honed turbine engine skills, we experience very few surprises when it comes to Honeywell TFE731 engines and MPIs. However flying that far right after a major inspection is significant.

According to Jeff Schwebke, Duncan Aviation Engine Project Manager, most operators fly locally around their home base after MPIs are performed to make sure there are no minor squawks to work through. “This simple action by a long-time Duncan Aviation customer says more about their trust in our work than glowing words of praise,” he says.

With an average of 192 MPIs a year for the last 15 years, experience has told us which parts should be ordered in advance, what components need a closer look, and how to put together a team of trained turbine engine technicians ready to get to work for every customer.

9-engine1 - Copy.jpg9-engine3 - Copy.jpg9-engine2 - Copy.jpg9-engine4 - Copy.jpg

With the triple MPIs completed, engines re-installed, and post-MPI performance runs, the customer’s aircraft departed with better engine performance than it had when it arrived.

Watch this time-lapse video and follow along as the engines make their way through the Duncan Aviation turbine engine shop for this triple MPI event.

35+ years

Duncan Aviation began servicing the first generation TFE731-2 engines in the early 1970s. In 1981, we received two major level authorizations to work on the Honeywell (then AiResearch) TPE331 and TFE731 engines. Over the years, as Honeywell added different TFE731 model engines, each was added to our capabilities.

Duncan Aviation's Honeywell Engine Authorizations, include: 

  • Heavy Authorization on TFE731-2,-3,-4,-5,-20,-40,-50,-60 engines
  • Minor Authorization on Honeywell AS907 (HTF 7000) Series 
  • Line Authorization on CFE738 Engines, GTCP36-100/150, RE100 series and RE220 series APUs.
Here’s to another 35 years of dedicated Honeywell service!

Tags: Engine Maintenance, Videos

Duncan Aviation Throws A Party!

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Sep 06, 2016 @ 10:04 AM

Last month Duncan Aviation threw a party; and not just one party, but two. Team members from Battle Creek, Michigan, and Lincoln, Nebraska, came together with members of the Duncan family to commemorate Duncan Aviation’s 60th Anniversary.

They celebrated the values, spirit, and strong work ethic that formed the bedrock of the Duncan Aviation organization back in 1956 when Donald Duncan founded the company.

The Battle Creek celebration was held at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo on Saturday, August 20, while the Lincoln team members gathered at the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Ashland on Friday, August 26.

Several members of the Duncan family, including Robert & Karen Duncan and Todd & Connie Duncan, attended the celebrations and addressed the team members present.

“When I started with the company, we were 400 people. Now we’re well over 2,200. That’s really great to celebrate,” said Todd, Duncan Aviation Chairman. “We are stronger than we’ve ever been and all of you are the reason why. Congratulations on 60 years.”

Robert Duncan, Chairman Emeritus, expressed his appreciation for the hard work that everyone at Duncan Aviation brings to their jobs. “I love the dedication and passion that people like you exhibit every day. You often work long and unusual hours in extreme conditions to do what needs to be done to make sure the aircraft is safe and ready to go. The results of your efforts, and those before you, can be seen in what Duncan Aviation has become.”

Duncan Aviation’s third maintenance facility in Provo will be hosting a 60th Anniversary dinner next month.


60-theme.jpg2016 is a special year. It is Duncan Aviation’s 60th year of helping business aircraft operators be safe, efficient and productive. For six decades, customers have asked us for solutions and services. We are celebrating our 60 years by telling the stories about the people of Duncan Aviation who listened and took action.

Celebrate with us by subscribing to the Duncan Download blog, following us on Facebook and Twitter (@DuncanAviation) and visiting our anniversary website at

Tags: Announcements, Videos, 60th Anniversary


Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Thu, Aug 04, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

DA15093001-Todd.gifOn a weekly basis, I travel to meet with some of the most interesting and influential people in our industry; individuals who work hard providing leadership for business aviation’s powerful associations and lobbying efforts, key customers who understand the benefits of business aircraft ownership and aviation enthusiasts who simply love to fly. I truly enjoy the people in our industry and the support they have shown us for years.

Rarely does a week go by when I don’t hear someone mention a Duncan Aviation team member by name. Describing their experience at one of our facilities, they let me know they consider our people experts, resources and friends. We’re serving customers in a very real way, letting them know we value their business and helping them operate their aircraft with success.

Our reputation not only represents the highest in quality work, it is one company among many that stand united in a show of support for the future of business aviation. Every Duncan Aviation team member comes to work knowing that their dedication, hard work and knowledge matter not only to their customers and their company, but to the entire industry.

Watch this video below and listen to several Duncan Aviation team members speak with pride about what quality means to them. 

60-theme.jpg2016 is a special year. It is Duncan Aviation’s 60th year of helping business aircraft operators be safe, efficient and productive. For six decades, customers have asked us for solutions and services. We are celebrating our 60 years by telling the stories about the people of Duncan Aviation who listened and took action.

Celebrate with us by subscribing to the Duncan Download blog, following us on Facebook and Twitter (@DuncanAviation) and visiting our anniversary website at

Tags: Announcements, Videos, 60th Anniversary

A Day in the Life of a Radar Unit at Duncan Aviation [Video]

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, May 24, 2016 @ 03:21 PM


Spring is here and that means storm season is upon us! Because radar is a great tool to avoid severe weather, spring is not the time to find out your radar is not functioning properly. For this reason, the Duncan Aviation avionics and instrument shop is kept very busy, servicing thousands of radar units every year.

Watch the video (below) and follow a radar as it makes a roadtrip through our Lincoln, Neb. facility during a routine inspection.

Radar Rotable Exchanges

Also every year, we process hundreds of radar exchanges. In order to meet this growing demand, we continually increase our radar exchange and outright inventory options so AOG customers don’t have to wait. There is also a loaner pool available.

To save you money and provide peace of mind, we offer one year warranties and flat rate exchange options on rotables that are notorious for add bills. To keep our pricing low and to avoid the ever-dreaded add bill, we use serviceable parts from hundreds of on-site core units.

Duncan Aviation Parts Sales is running a June promotion on radar rotables.  If we receive your core back at our Lincoln facility within five business days of the radar exchange unit shipping, we will issue a $50 credit to your Duncan Aviation account for future business.  Contact any Duncan Aviation Parts & Rotable Sales Contact. 




Tags: Parts & Accessories, Videos

We Did It Again! Another Unique Duncan Aviation Aircraft Paint [Video]

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Apr 05, 2016 @ 01:36 PM

Duncan Aviation’s aircraft paint experts never cease to amaze. Watch this time-lapse video of our team in Lincoln, Nebraska, as they create custom ghost artwork on the left- and right-hand fuselage of BurgerFi’s Bombardier Global.

Look close. Can you see the company name and logo in silver sparkle flake?


Colors used:

AkzoNobel Matterhorn White
Axalta Carbon Black
Axalta Gray
Axalta Silver Sparkle
House of Kolor Silver Mini Flake
House of Kolor Ice Pearl
Sherwin Williams Acry Glo Clear


Tags: Videos, Aircraft Paint

An Interior For The Albatross

Posted by Kate Dolan on Fri, Mar 04, 2016 @ 01:15 PM

N51ZD8807_Custom.jpgIn April 2015, the 61-year-old amphibious aircraft landed at Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Nebraska, facility to get fitted with its new interior—or, more accurately, an interior.

In addition to installing sound-dampening materials, the production team, following the plans of the owner’s (Joe Duke) designer, Bruce Shoemaker of, put in numerous passenger accommodations. The crew built two galleys, a lav and interior panels and installed LEDs, USB plugs, dome and task lighting and new gaspers. They updated the cockpit with side ledges and a workstation.

“It’s evident that everyone here at Duncan Aviation cares. The attention to detail is unmatched,” says Joe. Gesturing toward the galley, he adds, “Look at the quality of the cabinetry, and they were difficult to build.”

Our time-lapse video captures the progression from the pristine but empty cabin and cockpit to the newly completed aircraft interior, designed to invoke the style and materials used in the period in which the Albatross was produced.

Watch Video Now

Tags: Interior Refurbishment, Videos

Artisitic Collaboration Required: Painting Virgin's Galactic Girl

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 12:54 PM

GGirl.jpg“I love turning flying machines into eye candy.”
—John Stahr, Artist

When aircraft owners come to Duncan Aviation with a paint idea, whether it’s digital camo, Matterhorn white with a stripe or a concept that belongs in a Jackson Pollock exhibit, our team makes it happen.

With a team full of talented artists and detail-oriented paint experts, Duncan Aviation can produce almost any aircraft paint work in-house. Sometimes, though, Galactic-Girl-photos.jpgprojects come up that, due to schedule and workloads, require collaboration with outside artists. When those extra-special projects pop up, Duncan Aviation’s paint team often calls up artist John Stahr.

“When we scheduled the paint job for Virgin’s Galactic Girl at our Battle Creek, Michigan, location, we knew John was the extra team member we needed to complete the paint scheme the way we envisioned it,” explains Completions Sales Rep Nate Darlington.

John has 40 years of custom paint experience and can airbrush the most intricate designs. He started in the mid-1970s working on vehicles, adding vans, motorcycles, race team trucks and luxury coaches to his portfolio. In 2003, he started painting aircraft exclusively.

“Painting something unique on a business jet brings me a great deal of satisfaction, especially when I see my creation parked next to the traditional white aircraft with three stripes,” explains John. “I love turning flying machines into eye candy.”

Watch a time-lapse video of Virgin’s Galactic Girl’s paint process.

While each airbrushed paint scheme is wildly different, the backend process is fairly standard. For this paint scheme:

  1. Nate collaborated with Duncan Aviation’s in-house design team to develop a detailed rendering that fit the aircraft. The customer wanted the Dassault Falcon 900EX to mesh well with the rest of Virgin’s aircraft fleet, specifically SpaceShipTwo. Duncan Aviation Designer Lori Browning collaborated with the customer to craft several interpretations that incorporated a handful of SpaceShipTwo characteristics, including the black belly and strategically placed logos.
  2. John and the paint team created full-scale patterns by projecting layout sketches onto white paper.
  3. The paint crew prepped a substrate surface for John to transfer the drawings, using his pattern.
  4. Duncan Aviation’s paint layout team constructed two graphics: one showcasing the evolution of spaceflight and another displaying the Galactic Girl herself.
  5. Then, the fun began.

“I paint by hand, using spray guns and airbrush. Sometimes I’m very precise with measurements. Other times, I paint by eye. I do whatever it takes to make the final piece turn heads,” says John.

Painting large aircraft like Virgin’s Galactic Girl requires two sets of skills: artistic and physical.

John and the rest of the paint team do a lot of climbing and balancing. Operating a lift or climbing a ladder while wearing fall protection isn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s downright unnerving for an artist who needs a steady hand.

After John completed the Virgin Galactic eye logo on the aircraft’s belly, he added two more to either side of the vertical stabilizer. Duncan Aviation’s paint layout team added graphics to the forward portion of the aircraft, completing the artistic aspects of the paint design.

The paint team added clear coat to preserve the delicate airbrushing and graphics, as well as set off the detailed artwork. They sprayed a urethane clear coat to shield the artwork from extreme flying conditions.

Then, the aircraft entered its final step: the detailing phase. Duncan Aviation’s paint team reviewed every square inch of the aircraft, correcting any minor errors. After buffing the jet one last time, the team delivered the aircraft. With the Galactic Girl, they did so ahead of the original schedule.

“The people at each of Duncan Aviation’s locations must be from special aviation bloodlines or something,” explains John. “They all really care about their work, and they make sure every aircraft they touch has the highest level of attention to detail and quality.”

And that’s why when John and several Duncan Aviation teams collaborate, the customer wins.


Read more from the Duncan Debrief Magazine

The Duncan Debrief free publication is available for aviation enthusiasts around the world through mail and online. To receive the magazine, subscribe here. Have an iPad? Access the magazine through the Duncan Debrief app. Search for Duncan Debrief in Apple’s App Store and download it. Once downloaded, you can receive push notifications each time a new Duncan Debrief magazine is published. 

Tags: Videos, Aircraft Paint

VIDEO Falcon 900: Everything and the Galley Sink

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 09:48 AM

N183WW0347_blog.gifRead the Fall 2015 Duncan Debrief to see more gallery photos and details of this project.

The best laid plans often go awry. Business aviation maintenance is no exception. Most maintenance directors will tell you it’s almost impossible to plan for everything that might pop up during a large inspection that is coupled with a variety of updates and upgrades.

So how can Duncan Aviation guarantee turntimes? The answer is really pretty simple but often overlooked by those who don’t have the right people and the right processes.“We plan ahead and work hard,” says Finish Team Leader Tony Houk. “We still encounter hurdles, but we work together as a team to overcome them.”

Business jets are incredible assets. When they’re in our hangars for months, we recognize the owners are missing a valuable resource, so we do our best to meet turntimes and set efficient schedules to get customers in, out and safely on their way.

When an 18-year-old Falcon 900 was added to the schedule at Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Nebraska, location, promising a finite out date seemed far-fetched—because it was. A laundry list of inspections, avionics, interior upgrades and new paint packed the to-do list.

During the inspection, a handful of corrosion squawks required extra hours, making serious teamwork mandatory in order to adhere to a tight schedule. With some teams needing access to the same areas at the same times, schedules were changed to second or third shifts so progressing could be maintained at the same rate.

Everyone realized they needed to make it happen, even if that meant working in hourly blocks, or changing shifts and working weekends.

And all that teamwork paid off. The aircraft delivered, the customers were ecstatic and Duncan Aviation was able to add another success story to the books.

Watch this video and witness firsthand, how all the teams (airframe, paint, interior and avionics install) accommodated each another to do what was right for our customer.


Tags: Videos, Falcon


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