While developing a fighter, every single stage is important. Aircraft mechanic Maritza tells us about the various stations involved and how her job rotates around these stations to build the Gripen C/D fighter.
“The final assembly consists of three stations. And it takes Gripen C/D 72 days to go through final assembly and after that, the fighter is ready to be painted,” she says.
During the first stage of assembly, the small but integral parts, such as cables and hydraulics are installed. It is necessary to have these in place before the bigger parts are installed since it helps in the optimization of space in the aircraft. According to Maritza, this is the most challenging station of the assembly process, since there are so many parts to install, almost 18000 articles in all.
The second stage of assembly sees the engine, windshield, canard, inlet and canopy being installed. These are the larger parts of the Gripen. After the installation, a functional test of the whole aircraft is performed, which is the third station. For Maritza, this station is the most fun because she gets to see how everything is working.
Gripen is assembled by referring to digital drawings, a deviation from printed ones. According to Maritza, says that there are notable advantages to using the digital medium, such as getting a 360° view of the aircraft and removing the details you don’t need to mount your parts of the day.
Maritza has been working at the Gripen assembling unit since 2016. “What I really like about my job is that we get several opportunities everyday to challenge ourselves," she says.
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