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The Work Behind the Airplane

Class Spotlight: Airframe
Cadet+Anderson+bends+sheet+metal+for+a+project.
Cadet Anderson bends sheet metal for a project.

The UMA Airframe class that takes place at the Hill Aerospace Museum, and is a wonderful experience that allows cadets to work hands-on with pneumatic (air) tools and sheet metal. Taught by Mr. David Hardy, the Airframe class has a total of 19 cadets taking it this year.

“The Airframe class is going to delve into the components of the airframe.” said Mr. Hardy. “This includes the wings, primary and secondary controls, and the stabilizer.”

The overall purpose of Airframe is to teach an individual how the systems of an aircraft works. It also teaches you how to troubleshoot and do minor repairs on a plane.

This year the airframe class has covered topics such as safety wire, riveting and magneto. A magneto is an electrical generator that uses magnets to produce electricity. A magneto is used to send power to the spark plugs of an aircraft. 

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“The class feels like an aluminum shop more than an airframe class,”said Cadet Deegan Ross. Due to some personal issues the Airframe classes main instructor Chief Darrell Gronau has stepped out of the class for the time being; because of this the class has been running pretty slow this year. It’s instead focusing on the basics of metal working rather than going in depth on specific airframe parts.

Even with the slow pace of the class, the cadets are still making the best of it. When asked how he liked the class, Cadet Christian Sanchez said, “It’s fun–we get to drill holes in metal. I’d definitely recommend the class to anyone looking to go into aircraft maintenance.” 

Cadet Pevoroff helps Cadet Gillard mark sheet metal.

The Airframe class can lead to many fields of work, and provides cadets with several opportunities. Just taking the class can provide Cadets with great work experience and a hefty resume builder. There are many applications of the Airframe class.

Mr. Hardy said, “If you go into the aviation industry it provides several opportunities, such as work in commercial and regional airlines. As well as the opportunity to work for many companies such as Boeing And Northrop Grumman.” 

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About the Contributor
Trey Woodson
Trey Woodson, Reporter
I am a Senior, and I've been at UMA for three years. I want to be a paleontologist. I enjoy listening to 80's music, watching movies, and playing with my dogs. An interesting fact about me is I own a 6' tall cardboard cutout of Smokey the Bear.
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