What’s that you’re doing, Mrs. Ahuis?

What's that you're doing?
© Jan Brandes/LH Technik

Emma Ahuis, 19,

apprentice aircraft mechanic

has been with Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg for two years

 

“In the photo I’m repairing damage to an engine cowling. A cowling is structured like a sandwich, with aluminium-walled, hollow honeycombs one centimeter wide between two layers of ultralight, high-tech CFRP. As a result, the cowling is not too heavy and at the same time very strong. Even so, fine cracks can form over time. What I do is cut away the honeycombs beneath it, making sure to wear a breathing mask because of the dust particles. New honeycombs come to us in large laxers from which I cut out a piece to fit the grap and affix it to the bottom layer of CFRP. Finally I repair the outer skin by laying several strips to CFRP over the honeycombs, which are still flexible but already soaked in a special resin. With the cowling, they are the baked and pressure-cured in a kind 0f giant oven at up to 175°C – where they become extremely hard.”