About KipAero

Founder, Kip Lankenau

Founder, Kip Lankenau

How KipAero Started

KipAero started as an offshoot of Kip Motor Company when craftsmen re-invented the Liberty Distributor Cap. Previously, Kip Motor had twenty years experience in reproducing authentic parts for uncommon antique British vehicles perfecting small batch manufacturing processes. These experiences plus the love of aviation history led to the production and fabrication of WWI aeroplanes, mainly the Sopwith family of flying machines.

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· Meet Our Team ·

Kip Lankenau, Founder KipAero

Kip Lankenau

Kip is the founder and president of KipAero, a division of Kip Motor Company, specializing in vintage aeroplane ignition components and authentic Sopwith aeroplane kits. A member of the Antique Automobile Club of America by the age of five, antique automobiles, flying and history are his lifelong passion.
A frequent speaker, Kip has presented at numerous conferences including British Motor Trade Association, Aviation Week & Space Technology Innovation Challenge, the Aircraft Engine Historical Society conference in Dayton, Ohio (October 2016), a guest commentator at the US Air Force Museum WWI Dawn Patrol Rendezvous and EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 – 2022.

Dave Spradling

David Spradling, Director Research & Development

A very talented artisan, Dave holds degrees in Math and Physics from East Texas State University. Joining KMC in July of 1991, his primary responsibilities of product development and manufacturing consume most of his time, although his technical and training skills are likely to be engaged during any phase of vehicle and aero troubleshooting, restoration and repair.
Dave is instrumental in the depot repairs of our Sopwith 1½ Strutter and mentoring Luke in manufacturing ignition components and fabricating aero parts for Sopwith aeroplane kits.

Bruce Kimme, CSO

Bruce Kimme, Chief Safety Officer

Bruce brings 48 years of aircraft maintenance experience and management processes to KipAero as our Chief Safety Officer volunteer. Receiving his A&P license in 1972, Bruce worked in the general/corporate aviation field and for the last 35 years as Director of Aircraft Maintenance for a Fortune Top Ten corporate flight department. Currently, Bruce is focusing on our test flight program’s procedures to safely operate and fly a Great War aeroplane. We are rediscovering and documenting the flying characteristics, learning valuable information from every flight, fine tuning safety checklists, ground crew operations and maintenance procedures to share with other aero enthusiasts.

Luke Lindley, Aero Technician

Luke Lindley, Apprentice Aero Technician

Luke joined Kip Motor Company in May of 2020 as an intern upon graduating from McPherson College with a degree in Automotive Restoration Technology assisting in parts production. With a mechanical knack and desire to understand how all things work, Luke fit right in with our Aero Production team. By the end of the summer, he was promoted to Apprentice making authentic reproductions for KipAero’s aviation projects and for our customers. As Luke states, “crafting or making things give me a satisfaction that not much else does.” Currently, Luke is working with Dave in the depot repairs of our Sopwith 1½ Strutter and manufacturing Sopwith Aero Kits.