Everyone in the industry knows that Duncan Aviation has been a leader in private and business aircraft MRO services for nearly 70 years. What few realize is that much of its success stems from its ability to support all aspects of what the customer needs.
“With regard to MRO work, Duncan Aviation is unique,” states Duncan Manufacturing Solutions Manager Scott Stenka. “We can do just about anything, from components, cabinetry, and avionics to engines and paint. DMS is just another arm to support those capabilities. It gives us the in-house capabilities to manufacture parts or complete repairs faster and more cost-effectively than we could if we had to rely on outside vendors for services that we didn’t have in-house, such as heat treating.
“In the mid-eighties,” Stenka adds, “we achieved FAA Parts Manufacturer Approval [PMA] to make full-on APU installation kits for Falcon 20s and Israel Aircraft Industries Astra jets. That work created the foundation for the capabilities we have today.”
Back then, the PMA manufacturing was done under the Duncan Aviation brand with the occasional OEM licensing agreement sprinkled in. As this specialized branch continued to grow, the company researched the sustainable growth potential of enlarging its aircraft parts fabrication capabilities.
The results were encouraging enough for Duncan Aviation’s leadership to commit more than $4 million to create DMS and equip it with the latest machining, fabrication, and finishing equipment. The completed facility focuses on technologies and processes needed for Duncan Aviation to control its destiny.
Success is the sum of its parts.
Stenka says that DMS provides new parts for a variety of aircraft and avionics OEMs, including Aviation Clean Air kits and Wi-Fi installations. In addition, its technicians have built an enviable reputation for manufacturing one-off components for legacy aircraft.
“We see a lot of corrosion and damage in older aircraft wing-root ribs, fuselage bulkheads, and door frames,” Stenka explains. “These are things that were never meant to be replaced, and the aircraft’s OEM doesn’t have them on the shelf.” The OEM may give an eight- to 12-week lead time to get a new part out.
“Working with the OEM, our DMS team was able to complete the part in less than a week,” Stenka adds. “That’s a niche that we’re uniquely capable of supporting, not only for our MRO customers. Now that we have earned our ISO AS9100 certification, we’re talking with some major airframe OEMs about expanding our product and service offerings.” The certification focuses on the systems necessary to consistently provide products, processes, and services. These credentials would open the door to becoming a qualified supplier on the manufacturing side for the OEM, creating another avenue to provide parts quickly.
“With the AS9100 certification, we can start working toward NADCAP accreditation on the in-house special processes we have,” Stenka says. “The guidelines and approval will let us add more credible services and capabilities for OEMs, like composite structures, welding, and heat-treating.”
What can we do for you?
“We’re looking hard at adding 3-D printing capabilities to support the whole aircraft cost-effectively,” Stenka says. “We’re still in the research phase. When the time is right, we will undoubtedly offer those services as well.”
Stenka stresses that, as in the company’s early days, Duncan Manufacturing Solutions is here to help customers solve their parts problems.
“Whether it’s a simple part or a highly complex component, if there’s something you can’t get, ask us,” he says. “There’s probably a way we can help you keep your aircraft flying.”