Eurofighter Faces: Stefan Frank 

In our latest Eurofighter Faces feature we catch up with Eurofighter aircraft mechanic Stefan Frank, who works for Airbus on the Final Assembly Line at Manching.

What is your career background and how did it all begin?

My ultimate dream was always to work on aircraft but after I finished my studies, I served an apprenticeship in a completely diverse area of engineering. Initially, my time was spent working as an industrial mechanic in a spinning mill and then for the next 10 years, I was employed in various industries. But I still had a desire to work on aircraft and I seized the opportunity when it arose and applied for a position as an aircraft mechanic at Airbus. I have now been part of the team since August 2022.

What attracted you to your current role?

During my time as a student I carried out an internship within the aviation industry and it sparked an enthusiasm which never left me. For me to be able to fulfil that ambition is especially rewarding and to be working directly on aircraft in my current position is very exciting.

Have there been any people along the way who have inspired or encouraged you? 

Yes, I come from a family which has seen several members work in the aviation industry. I guess, from that perspective, it’s in my blood. My enthusiasm for carrying out my work on aircraft is ‘natural’. 

What are the specific skills, knowledge or expertise you require to be a success?

For me, teamwork is the most important skill alongside the technical understanding and high-quality commitment we all show on a constant basis. Obviously, one man can’t build a Eurofighter alone. It takes shared expertise, combined know-how and a collective number of hands to put the aircraft together.

Assembling the Eurofighter begins with the individual components being delivered from our partners in other countries. This includes, for example, the landing gear and the wings. My department then attaches these various elements to the aircraft which helps the Eurofighter take on its impressive shape. 

Explain what your day-to-day demands and challenges are.

Every detail concerning the construction of the Eurofighter has to be ultra-focused and attention has to be paid to the minutest detail to ensure there are no faulty parts. We have to be able to rely on each other and collectively strive together for the highest quality of workmanship in order to avoid and prevent potential complications. Above everything else, safety is our highest priority. 

What is a typical day for you?

When people hear that I work on an assembly line, they often think I do the same work every day in a repetitive cycle. But every day is both varied and challenging throughout the build process — right up to the point of completion.

Working on the Eurofighter has been my ultimate dream and every time I see it take off I get goosebumps.

How does it feel to be working as part of the Eurofighter programme and why do you think it is an important role?

Working on the Eurofighter has been my ultimate dream and every time I see it take off I get goosebumps. Working with teams from all the other nations means we learn so much daily. Building this impressive defence aircraft has created a strong bond within the team. 

Why is the work you are involved in important and what impact do you feel it has on the Eurofighter project? 

From my point of view, our work on the Eurofighter program has a very important impact. It means the German Air Force benefits from having the highest quality modern air defence permanently available to protect our skies.  

You work in a very intense environment so how do you wind down and relax?

As you might expect, I love flying, so I enjoy travelling to experience and explore other countries. At home, I often go to the gym. I also volunteer as a youth leader in a local sports society.