What’s that you’re doing, Mr. Rieger?

Stefan Rieger has been an aircraft engineer with Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg for 16 years
© Jan Brandes/LH Technik

Stefan Rieger, 35,

Aircraft engineer

…has worked for Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg for 16 years


“I’m making a four-meter-long track on which to install seats in an aircraft cabin. With this new machine, the job takes one-and-a-half hours. The centerpiece of the machine is the automatic milling tool, which cuts aluminum extrusions according to a set program. First, it creates the wave shape and the actual guide rail on the inside. Then I turn the extrusion over and then onto its sides, where the machine makes further grooves. This is where the track will eventually be attached to the aircraft. Every aircraft type has its own structural particularities. When I program the milling tool, I have to take into account exactly where in the aircraft cabin the track will be installed. From above, all the tracks look the same, but there are big differences when you look at the bottom and sides. Using rasps, sandpaper and other tools, I finally remove all the rough edges created in the milling process, and then the track is ready to be installed.”