Aerospace Propulsion Apprentice

Looking to change career fields or contemplating to request a new assignment? Here's where you find out if the grass really is greener on the other side...
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kori

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Unread post31 Aug 2011, 05:51

So I finally booked a job in the Air Force (currently in softbook dep). My ship date is August 28th 2012, so I'm pretty excited, can anyone shed some light on Aerospace Propulsion, what to expect?
I'm safer up here, then you are down there.
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That_Engine_Guy

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Unread post01 Sep 2011, 00:48

What the official Specality Summary says:
Inspects, maintains, modifies, tests, and repairs propellers, turboprop and turboshaft engines, jet engines, small gas turbine engines, and engine ground support equipment (SE).



What the USAF Recruiting page says: http://www.airforce.com/careers/detail/ ... ropulsion/
Career Description

With Air Force jets, the United States can have a significant aggressive, defensive or humanitarian force anywhere in the world in 30 minutes. It's an ability and responsibility that relies on having planes ready to go at a moment's notice. As an Aerospace Propulsion specialist, you'll ensure our engines are in first-rate operational condition. You'll know the engines inside and out and work on the flight line, in a shop or in a test facility. You'll also work where the jets are, whether that's in the United States or abroad.

Career Tasks

Diagnose engine problems, including the fuel, oil, electrical and engine airflow systems
Remove defective components and install serviceable machinery
Perform test runs on repaired engines
Relevant Interests & Skills

Electronics
Mechanics
Problem-solving
Maintenance and Repair
Working with Your Hands
Working with Aircraft
Training

After eight-and-a-half weeks of Basic Military Training, every Airman goes to technical training to learn their career. Here's the basic information about Aerospace Propulsion technical training:

School location: Sheppard AFB [TX]
Length of course: 53–61 days (varies)
College degree earned: Aviation Maintenance Technology
College credits earned: 17–25 (varies)


Here is a 'recent' article about training at Sheppard AFB: http://www.sheppard.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123140483

So what does all this mean?

You could work on heavy engines (like commercial turbofans) fighter engines, turboprop engines (like commercial/private turboprops), or you could work on small-gas turbines (APUs, Starters, or Ground Support Equipment)

You may be assigned to a flying unit, or a back shop.

What you're actually going to do in your career depends on what engine you're supporting, where, and how.

Do well in school; learn the basics, and don't forget to think! Attention to detail is a HUGE thing when dealing with jet engines overall.

Here is what author Tom Clancy says about jet engines:
Tom Clancy wrote:To give you a better picture of how exact these engines are made, look at a human hair. While it may look pretty thin to you, it would barely fit between many of the moving parts in a jet engine. That's what I mean by tight tolerances! Now, let's spin some of those parts at thousands of revolutions per minute and expose a few of them to temperatures so high that most metal alloys would melt instantly.


If you want to talk in depth or further detail, feel free to IM

Keep 'em flyin' :thumb:
TEG
[Airplanes are] near perfect, all they lack is the ability to forgive.
— Richard Collins
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kori

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Unread post01 Sep 2011, 01:10

Thanks TEG, much appreciated.

I guess my everyday life will be pretty dependent on what I get stuck on.
I'm safer up here, then you are down there.
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That_Engine_Guy

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Unread post01 Sep 2011, 01:44

kori wrote:I guess my everyday life will be pretty dependent on what I get stuck on.


"Stuck on"? Doesn't sound like you're thinking positive.... Always make the most of the cards you are dealt. If you're miserable all the time your work will reflect that.

But yes, the airframe/engine combination you're assigned will make a world of difference as to what your job will entail; as will the base or specific unit.

My career was somewhat backwards, did all flight-line at first, never tore an engine down until I was well into my second enlistment at another base. Most cases will see a new engine mechanic assigned to a back-shop/JEIM to learn the ins/outs of the engines before they are sent to a flight-line. These days though, with the change of duty stations and constant trips to combat zones, you may get to the line much quicker.

Just remember, the more you learn, the further you'll go in any career. Knowing 'just the basics' will only get you basic in return. Knowing as much as possible about your engine and how it interacts with the airframe and other systems will open many more doors down the road.

TEG - (Aerospace Propulsion Craftsman - 20+ years)
[Airplanes are] near perfect, all they lack is the ability to forgive.
— Richard Collins
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kori

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Unread post01 Sep 2011, 04:51

Sorry, I'm actually really excited, my recruiter and I had some miscommunication and I was under the impression I was going in as Tactical Aircraft Maintenance, but I really wanted this job. Seems like it would be great to help me on the outside.
I'm safer up here, then you are down there.

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