The Harper Aviation company was founded by Rick Harper to design and manufacture the Ultimate Kneeboard®. The company is headquartered in Eagle, Idaho, which is a suburb of Boise.
Rick Harper earned his private pilot’s license in 1980 at the age of 19. In 1986, he entered the Air Force Officer Training School, followed by Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas. Rick graduated with a “fighter pilot” qualification, and was asked to stay at Reese AFB as a T-37 instructor pilot, where he helped hundreds of young officers earn their silver Air Force wings.
As the Persian Gulf War end in the spring of 1991, and the military draw down began, Rick realized the time had come to pursue other goals. One goal was to continue to share his valuable Air Force training and experience with others desiring to take to the skies. After earning his civilian flight instructors rating, students and fellow pilots asked where they could get a kneeboard like the one Rick was using. Unable to find a comparable kneeboard on the civilian market, Rick decided to design a kneeboard of his own. After months of research and ideas from other pilots, Rick began to manufacture what he now calls the Ultimate Kneeboard®. Modifications from Rick’s Air Force kneeboard were needed to accommodate the civilian pilot — most notably the seven hole design to accept Jeppesen® charts.
Rick holds a degree in Economics from Brigham Young University, and a Masters in Aviation/Aerospace Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Masters of Business Administration from Northcentral University.
He markets the Ultimate Kneeboard® throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, and Africa. He is a life member of the Air Force Association, National Guard Association of the United States, Military Officers Association of America, and a member of AOPA since 1984. In addition, Rick currently flies the Boeing 757 and 767s with Delta Air Lines and continues to serve in the Idaho Air National Guard. He retired from the Idaho Air National Guard in February 2015 after 28 years of combined active duty and Air National Guard service. He has over 14,000 hours, over 2,000 as an instructor with ATP, CFII, MEI, AGI.
My crew on the ramp in Kandahar, Afghanistan. L to R: SSgt George Lewis, Flight Engineer; Capt Drew Walter, Navigator; Lt Col Rick Harper, Pilot; Sra Jason Fontaine, Loadmaster; MSgt Randy Baker, Loadmaster; Capt Jim Hawkes, Co-pilot
Capt Chris Spangenberg and I on the ramp at Erbil, Iraq.
On the ramp at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho.
Rick resides in Eagle, Idaho – just outside Boise – with his wife, three daughters and a son.