Just Another Day at GT-Lorraine

Just Another Day at GT-Lorraine

See more of the photos that Dr. Zaidi took by visiting this Flickr slideshow.

A group of 11 students next to a Cargolux plane. Seen of the students are wearing bright green safety vests

Everyone knows that if you choose to study at Georgia Tech-Lorraine, you are bound to widen your cultural perspective and gain a better grasp of what a truly global economy looks like. And, of course, there's great chocolate, decent wine, and some interesting art, too.

But for any aerospace engineering student, no visit abroad is complete without checking out the other country's flying machines. School of Aerospace Engineering lecturer Turab Ali Zaidi did just that on November 13. And he sent us the following report.

Today I had the pleasure of joining Dr. Tim Stoneman’s HTS 2100 class [Contemporary Industry in Europe] on a site visit to Cargolux’s wide-body aircraft maintenance center in Luxembourg City. Completed in 2009, the ultramodern facility is the largest building by volume in Luxembourg - large enough to contain an Airbus A380 aircraft (currently the largest commercial aircraft in service). It has two maintenance bays to simultaneously service two wide-body aircraft.

This is where Cargolux maintains its 27 Boeing 747 fleet of cargo freighters, including 14 of their brand new Boeing 747-8 aircraft. In addition to the two aircraft maintenance bays, Cargolux also has multiple service shops on-site, including an engine shop, wheel and brake shop, sheet metal shop, avionics shop, hydraulics and pneumatics shops and more. Together, they enable Cargolux to perform every maintenance operation short of complete overhaul. Cargolux also keeps their own design and engineering department on-site to minimize repair times and keep their fleet in continuous operation. Cargolux has also contracted out maintenance services to other operators turning their maintenance department, typically considered a cost center, into a profit center.

We were fortunate to see a B747-8 in for an A-check maintenance and inspection service, performed every 2 months on all aircraft, and completed in a short 24-hour period! Cargolux also conducts longer C-checks at this facility every 2 years for their fleet. It was an incredible sight to see the massive B747 with its smoothly curved raked wingtips, completely enclosed in an enormous building. All 4 of its new GEnx-2B engines, with their distinct exhaust chevrons were opened for inspection. We were able to get up close and walk around the aircraft, taking in its massive size. We also went on board to see the main cargo deck and even witnessed the nose cargo door being actuated for servicing.

The visit to Cargolux was certainly a special treat for an aerospace engineer, but it was astounding for all who witnessed firsthand the marvels of engineering on such a large scale.

Dr. Zaidi earned his undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees at GT-AE before moving to France where he teaches two undergrad and two graduate courses at GT-Lorraine. The undergrad classes are AE 2010 (Thermodynamics & Compressible Flow) and AE 2220 (Dynamics). The grad classes are AE 6343 (Aircraft Design) and AE 6373 (Advanced Design Methods I). Find out more about studying abroad at Georgia Tech.

 

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