Tuesday, 21st November 2017
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AIRCRAFT TECHNICIAN

Aeronautical/aircraft technicians design, build and test new aircraft for civil or military purposes. They may also repair and service existing aircraft. They work on all different parts of an aircraft, as well as weapons systems and satellites.

An aircraft technician will usually work in one of two specific areas, mechanics or avionics. Mechanics work involves building the different parts of an aircraft, including engines, wings, landing gear and gearboxes. Technicians working in this area will also service and repair existing parts, as well as building new versions, trying to improve original structures.

Avionics involves the manufacture, testing and installation of aircraft instruments and electronic systems, which are used inside the aircraft either for navigation, communication or flight control. This side of work also involves maintaining the electrical generation and distribution systems of aircraft.

No matter what area an aeronautical technician chooses to specialise in, they will usually have to complete the following tasks:

  • Developing component plans using computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacture (CAM) software
  • Researching into new solutions to current engineering problems
  • Building and testing new prototypes before implementing them
  • Carrying out on-site maintenance between flights

Sometime aeronautical technicians will be on hand to help refuel an aircraft whilst at an airport, as well as helping with pre-flight checks.

A lot of time is likely to be spent around aircraft, either in air hangers, airports or in factories. The role requires good practical skills but also theoretical knowledge, IT ability and creativity.