With their diverse properties, plastics play a major role in the aircraft industry. Whether for carbon cladding, glass-fibre piping or lightning protection – without plastics, it would be impossible to work to the state-of-the-art standards we have today. Our plastics engineers are tasked with the precision production of these parts. Pilatus Aircraft Ltd
Silas Linder is an apprentice plastics engineer in his third year of training. During the four years of his apprenticeship he will gain experience of all areas of work, from the raw materials through to the assembly of the finished plastic part. The tasks range from cutting out the raw material, inserting and hot-pressing, construction of glass- fibre tubing, pressing parts in the autoclave and cutting them to final dimensions through to pre- assembly of the raw parts. Once complete, the parts are forwarded to other departments for further processing or assembly on the aircraft.
Silas likes inserting work best of all. During this step the various plastic layers are sorted according to sequence and fibre orientation and glued in place. You get to see exactly how the parts take shape and how the different fabrics influence the properties of the subsequent end product – which is precisely what fascinates him most about this particular profession.
Training with excellent prospects
Once the apprenticeship is complete, you can go on to work in different areas. The training period allows the apprentice to gain an informed insight into these areas in advance. Since Silas is learning a technical profession, a rotation plan throughout all four years of his apprenticeship will give him an opportunity to look at other manual apprenticeships as well. In this way, he can get to know the company better and acquire a range of different skills.
Silas has always been enthusiastic about working as a plastics engineer. He attaches particular importance to manual work with plastics in fibre composites and composites in general.
Privately involved in flying too
When not at work, Silas – who comes from Zug – enjoys building and flying model aircraft. He and his friends spend a lot of time privately and at a model aircraft club both on pure flying activities and also actually building the model aircraft. By working at Pilatus, there is a form of symbiosis between his hobby and his profession. At airfields around Zug he flies various model aircraft and practises different flight manoeuvres. He also takes part in air shows as a team pilot.