Above the clouds, freedom must be limitless. This feeling of unlimited freedom is particularly great in small and light aircraft. The manufacture of gliders, powered gliders and the like is a fine art and requires not only manual skills, but also a very careful working method - small manufacturing or maintenance errors can have disastrous consequences.
This is why light aircraft builders deal intensively with different materials such as plastic, light metal or wood during their training. You will learn how light aircraft are built, how they are manufactured and also maintained. The training to become a light aircraft builder is not only extremely exciting, but also very varied.
What does a light aircraft manufacturer do?
Light aircraft construction : Powered gliders, sailplanes, small powered aircraft or other ultralight aircraft - the production of light aircraft of all kinds is one of the core tasks of light aircraft manufacturers.
Component manufacture : A light aircraft consists of many different individual parts. These individual components are manufactured according to a plan and with the help of templates, models and moulds. Depending on the material, very different processes are used here: e.g. sawing, filing, drilling, rolling, heat treatment or low pressure processes.
Component assembly : The manufactured components are assembled and joined using different connection techniques. Depending on the material, it is brazed, welded, riveted or glued. Screws and nails may also be required for wooden components.
Surface treatment : For safe and good flying behaviour, all surfaces of the light aircraft must be treated. Filling and polishing are as much a matter for the light aircraft manufacturer as the application of protective agents.
Final assembly : Once all components have been manufactured, painted and treated accordingly, the final assembly of the light aircraft takes place. The individual components are assembled with the engine, chassis, control system and other equipment which are delivered prefabricated. The light aircraft manufacturer also takes care of the installation, configuration and testing of all on-board instruments.
Testing : The final inspection is the conclusion of the manufacturing process. All devices and functions are put to the test and tests are carried out. If everything meets the requirements, the light aircraft can be released for sale.
Maintenance : Of course, light aircraft must also be checked and maintained at regular intervals. The light aircraft manufacturer checks the individual components and carries out functional checks on the navigation, landing gear, controls and all other equipment. The replacement of wearing parts and the repair of weak and problematic points in the aircraft complete the wide range of tasks of the light aircraft manufacturer.
Your tasks at a glance :
- Manufacture of fibre-reinforced plastic parts
- Processing of various materials such as wood, metal and plastic
- Assembly and joining of individual components
- Installation of on-board equipment
- Testing and functional inspection of equipment parts
- Maintenance and repair of light aircraft
Why become a light aircraft manufacturer?
Whether restoring and repairing old wooden aircraft or building a modern light aircraft from glass fibre reinforced plastic (GRP): the materials and the daily work are very varied. High training wages, very practical training content and regular working hours are further advantages of training as a light aircraft builder.
Where can I work as a light aircraft manufacturer?
After their training, most aircraft manufacturers are employed in a small or medium-sized industrial company in the glider and light aircraft industry.
Your locations at a glance :
- Manufacturing room
What are the working hours as a light aircraft manufacturer?
Working hours can differ from company to company. As a rule, it is usually a standard 40-hour week from Monday to Friday. However, shift work may also be possible in larger companies.
Info : Before and during the flying season (April to October) there is a lot of activity for light aircraft manufacturers. During this time, overtime may be incurred, especially in smaller companies.
What work clothes do light aircraft manufacturers wear?
The work clothes depend on the respective activity. Protective clothing is compulsory when working in the workshop or production hall - gloves, goggles and respiratory protection are part of the basic equipment. If you are on the airfield, you must wear warning clothing and hearing protection.
What kind of person do I need to be to be a light aircraft builder?
Craftsman : Wood, metal, plastic - you work with many different materials. Distinct manual skills are essential for this. Good spatial awareness is also very important.
Technician : In addition to all the machines that a light aircraft manufacturer must be able to operate, a basic technical (electro) understanding is also required. This applies in particular to the installation, testing and checking of electronic components.
Perfectionist : A mistake in the construction or maintenance of a light aircraft can have fatal consequences. In order to get it right later on, you must work very carefully and conscientiously.
How does the training to become a light aircraft manufacturer work?
The dual training to become a light aircraft manufacturer is designed for three years, but can also be shortened on request and with a correspondingly good performance. As there are very few vocational schools for light aircraft manufacturers, trainees are mainly trained together with trainees from similar professions - for example, with carpenters and boat builders.
In the three-year training to become a light aircraft builder, theory and practice alternate. You can put your theoretical expertise from the vocational school into practice directly in the company.
Qu’apprend un avionneur léger à l’école professionnelle ?
Dans l’école professionnelle, vous posez les bases théoriques. Vous traitez beaucoup d’activités liées à l’emploi telles que l’arithmétique, le dessin ou la technologie aéronautique. Mais des matières générales comme l’allemand ou l’économie sont également au programme.
What does a light aircraft manufacturer learn at the vocational school?
1st year of training : The first year of training is dedicated to basic professional training. The focus is on the correct handling and processing of various materials. From wood and metal to plastic.
2nd year of training : In the second year, vocational training takes place. The operation of machines and the manufacture of moulds, devices and components are just as much a part of the training plan as the correct treatment of surfaces. The second year ends with an intermediate examination.
3rd year of training : In the final year of training, the trainee is involved in the final assembly of light aircraft as well as in maintenance and repair.