WOW! Is that ever a term in search of Duncan Aviation's unique perspectives on how the business aviation industry functions and why it's so important. At Duncan Aviation we think the term "special" applies to everything we do! Each project, whether it's for a customer or for our community, is special.
Duncan Aviation has performed tens of thousands of "special projects"; at least that’s our perception. Some have had gigantic workscopes that involved coordination with nearly every Duncan Aviation department. Others have been handled with a single phone call. We’ve seen wing demates, ferry permits, MPIs, more electronic installations than you can count, thousands of AOG situations, paint schemes that became works of art, bolts and washers that cost more to ship than we invoiced for and a million more "special projects." What’s more, each one was performed as if it were the most important task at that moment—and it WAS!
What, from an operator’s perspective, constitutes "special?" It’s certainly special to have more service authorizations than anyone else in the world and be rated as the top maintenance and avionics repair facility year after year. Maybe the meaning of "special" bores down to the quality of those who work at such a business, and whether they truly care about what they do and the industry they serve. "Special projects" are part of the special sense of pride which brings aviation enthusiasts and professionals together to pull off some remarkable and unique projects.
Special = Unique
Maybe a better way to talk about "special projects" is to refer to the uniqueness of certain projects and how Duncan Aviation uses its vast pool of experience to guide each project to fruition. When an operator wants or needs a complete inspection, overhaul and refurbishment, Duncan Aviation has the professional characteristics needed to perform these types of huge workscopes. That’s a bold statement, but it’s true because of the intense training, industry dedication, capital investment and retention of experience that Duncan Aviation maintains year after year. Every Duncan Aviation team member stakes their personal reputation, and ours, on each project they touch. And take a close look at that reputation. No other company comes close to matching it! This type of dedication can’t be taught; it can only come from the hearts and souls of special individuals who view their careers as special.
Duncan Aviation has worked on many uniquely special projects. We’ve donated several aircraft to museums, painted and restored a space capsule (see the Apollo 009 capsule the next time you’re near the Strategic Air Command Museum between Lincoln and Omaha), shipped aircraft wings around the world, sent teams to AOG locations all over the globe and restored badly damaged aircraft to original specifications. We outline some of our more unique projects in this issue of the Duncan Debrief magazine.
The people of Duncan Aviation have pretty much "seen it all." That should instill great confidence for most operators. But the truth is that operators are most concerned with their "special project." They want a company with a long history of excellence, teamwork and people who will always view their "project" as the most "special" one worked on. And here at Duncan Aviation, rest assured. It IS!
More Favorite Projects
Not every delivery is for a typical business customer. In 2000, Duncan Aviation donated a Cessna 150 to the Lincoln Children’s Museum. Many Duncan Aviation team members contributed their time to make this 150 as realistic for children as possible. With it, the thrill of aviation comes alive for children who visit the museum.
The unmanned Apollo space capsule s/n 009 was launched on Feb. 26, 1966, for a suborbital flight. After several years of testing, it was donated to the University of Nebraska in 1972 and sat outside in the Nebraska elements for years. The abuse required complete refurbishment and new paint. Duncan Aviation donated the labor needed to restore the capsule. Today it resides at the Strategic Air Command Museum located between Lincoln and Omaha and many Duncan Aviation customers see the restored capsule while touring the museum.
When a Saudi Arabian aircraft damaged its wing during landing at a Bahrain airport, Duncan Aviation was called. The most economical solution required locating a "used" wing, bringing it back to airworthy condition in Lincoln and changing it out in Bahrain.
To transport the wing and Duncan Aviation team to Bahrain, a Russian Antonov AN-124-100 transport aircraft was needed. The team removed the damaged wing, installed the airworthy wing, connected the auxiliary fuel tank, test-flew the aircraft and had the work approved by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Presidency of Civil Aviation. This team dealt with poor ground equipment, old 220-volt electrical service in the hangar, uncertainties about visas and work permits and the staggering heat. Despite the challenges, the Duncan Aviation team did a top-notch job!