years have taken it from a small aircraft float-maker to a major
general-aviation engineering firm.
Sixteen different designs of aircraft
floats—nine of them still in production; a range of aircraft skis;
aircraft interiors; paint; and a half-century of aviation-engineering
The one place where all these traits
converge: in South St. Paul, Minnesota, at Wipaire Inc.
Five decades after company founder and
family patriarch Bernard “Ben” Wiplinger started work on his first
floats—for the Cessna 185—the firm is celebrating that anniversary
Son Bob—“Wip” to his many friends—and
grandchildren Nancy and Chuck continue the traditions started by Ben,
who began designing in 1960.
With nine float models, straight and
amphibious, skis, and other business lines, Wipaire has managed to hold
on solidly when many another family-held businesses either faded away or
have been absorbed by another company, its identity lost to time.
In celebration of the company’s
success, some lucky winner will receive a set of Wipline 2100 floats
before year’s end. You can enter for a chance to win here at EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh or at other events around the country. The drawing
for the floats will take place at the AOPA Summit in Long Beach,
California, on November 13.