High end skills shortages affect many industries but in the aerospace sector a new initiative is seeking to readdress this.
The RJ Mitchell Aircraft Maintenance Academy, named after the inventor of the Spitfire, has opened up at Humberside Airport having being previously based at Robin Hood, Doncaster.
Each year there will be an intake of more than 60 apprentices that will provide the next generation of aircraft maintenance technicians. The learning is certainly hands on and students will get familiar with certain aircraft including the Hawk.
The classroom environment is no different to an actual hanger and as we have encountered on numerous occasions before working at height is inevitable. Equipment that will help this learning to be conducted in a safe manner are sets of mobile height adjustable access platforms supplied by Planet Platforms. Constructed from steel and powder-coated blue the platforms have 400mm of adjustment set at 100mm increments with the leading edge contoured to the aircraft shape.
The cockpits on these aircraft have two seats behind each with the rear one being slightly elevated for the instructor and hence the need for a degree of adjustment. The steel construction with stabilising jacks gives a larger than normal safe working load of 595kgs that allows more personnel to work simultaneously.
With the right access equipment and world class facility these apprentices have everything they need to become tomorrow’s engineers.