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«Spring 2024

A Tale of Three Family-Owned Businesses

Long-time customer The Knapheide Manufacturing Company appreciates that Duncan Aviation is a multigeneration, family owned business. As a sixth-generation, family-owned trucking company, Knapheide celebrated its 176th anniversary this year.

Both Duncan Aviation and Knapheide take pride in serving their respective industries with dedication and commitment.

In 1848, Knapheide started making wooden-wheel, covered wagons, adapting their business model to changing technology and customer needs. As the vehicles Knapheide manufactured changed over the ensuing century, their customer base expanded from the Quincy, Illinois, area in the mid- 1800s throughout the Midwest and lower 48 states, to where it is today with service bodies recognized around the world.



In 1974, the Lipcamons started their own small, family-owned FBO on the Quincy Airfield. Brothers Roger and Bobby Lipcamon transitioned their FBO into the Knapheide Flight Department in 1989, piloting and maintaining a Cessna 414A Chancellor.

“As the company’s transportation needs changed, so did our aircraft,” says Roger. “We progressed to a Cessna 421C, Cessna Conquest I, Citation 525, Learjet 40XR, and Learjet 75, and we recently added an Embraer Praetor 500 to the fleet.”

As Knapheide grew, so did the flight department.

“We’ve gone from two pilots in 1989 to six pilots today,” says Bobby. “The scope of our customer base geographically, and the company’s business philosophy, drove the need to upgrade our flight capabilities. It really sounds a lot like the path taken by Duncan Aviation, advancing with the changing technology and needs of the business aviation industry.”

Although Knapheide’s growth preceded Duncan Aviation’s by nearly a century, Duncan Aviation followed a similar path, expanding from its Midwest roots nearly 70 years ago to its worldwide presence today.


When Roger and Bobby started the Knapheide flight department, they knew every aircraft they operated flew between 600 and 700 hours a year.

Although both brothers had A&Ps and Inspector Authorizations, they knew they couldn’t do everything. In 1990, they first partnered with Duncan Aviation. Now, they rely on us to support them. Both men had learned to fly as teenagers and owning an FBO taught them from an early age that keeping an aircraft available was a valuable business tool.

“For that reason, we like Duncan Aviation,” says Bobby. “When we bring a plane for maintenance, I know when it’s going to deliver. We are kept abreast of the work completed and any impacts concerning the completion date. Our business depends on those planes continuing to fly, and Duncan Aviation understands that.” Roger and Bobby have taken advantage of Duncan Aviation’s full-service facilities in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Battle Creek, Michigan, as well as several Satellite Shops.

“As if that isn’t enough, Duncan Aviation’s AOG teams fill in the gaps. They cover North America and wherever needed,” says Roger.

Roger and Bobby have worked together in aviation for more than 50 years. Roger retired at the end of 2023 and remains as a contractor/advisor; Bobby plans to remain for a couple more years. He loves flying the Praetor for many reasons but among them is the fact that they can fly nearly anywhere in the United States without stopping to refuel.

“We like to walk around the hangar at Duncan Aviation, talk to the technicians, and see what they’re doing,” says Bobby. “I tell them, ‘I’m not here to check your work, I’m here to learn.’ They’ll say, ‘Well, come over here, and I’ll show you this.’ It’s great to have that kind of trust, that kind of relationship with the teams working on your airplane. I’d never go anywhere else.”

After working together with Duncan Aviation for more than 34 years, Bobby and Roger especially appreciate the friendly, family feel at Duncan Aviation. “You’re not just a name, you’re a person.