Airplane assemblers build airplanes, space vehicles, and satellites.
Airplane assemblers usually specialize in one area such as:
- Frames or fuselages
- Rigging and control equipment
- Wiring and cables
- Landing gears
- Heating and ventilation
Aircraft structure assemblers join and align the pieces of the frame or fuselage. Aircraft systems assemblers fit together the smaller assemblies such as landing gears. Aircraft rigging assemblers fabricate and install the wiring harnesses, cables, and hydraulic lines. These lines and cables connect the flight controls, navigation systems, and other parts of the aircraft.
When assembling airplanes, assemblers read and follow detailed plans and diagrams. They inspect and measure parts prior to assembly. They make sure that parts are free of defects.
Assemblers may cut, grind, or trim parts to fit properly. They use tools such as drills, wrenches, and rivet guns. They also weld and chemically bond pieces together. They recycle or contain waste from assembly to protect the environment.
All airplane assemblers work as part of a team. On automated assembly lines, airplane assemblers control robots that assemble aircraft.
At each stage, workers test the aircraft to determine if parts are installed properly. Assemblers sometimes work with inspectors to run tests. They make adjustments or replace parts when needed. They must have up-to-date knowledge of assembly methods in order to produce safe aircraft.
Assemblers also build experimental aircraft designed to use less fuel and create less pollution.