After the two intense days of leadership training, personal development and deep dives into our innermost beings which David referred to in the previous post (and which by the way were held at the very enjoyable Bohusgården in Uddevalla), it was at the previous Saturday time for us to steer our big black van towards a far more far-reaching journey. This time we had our sights on an epic road trip stretching 4000km throughout large parts of Europe!
As you might already know, between our ten weeks work placements we trainees have so called activity weeks when we, apart from leadership and group development, spend our time building networks and increasing our competence by the means of visiting fellow companies within the aerospace industry. During this second activity week, as mentioned half of Europe lay at our feet and the first target was set at Fokker Services in Hoogerheide south of Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Because we had quite a few kilometers to cover, and since we were eager to enjoy everything the continent had to offer us, we started our journey early in the Saturday morning. After some pleasant hours of socializing and music listening, we arrived Bremen at dusk and had a nice dinner before settling for the night. At Sunday, we crossed the Dutch border, drove the last few hours into Amsterdam and even took us some time to fill the yearly cultural prescription by visiting the van Gogh Museum, after which is was time to prepare ourselves for a work week beyond the usual.A whole years prescription of cultural experiences filled in only a few intense hours.The well known Fokker logo and a propeller pwered Fokker 50 in Dutch KLM service.
The Dutch Fokker makes up a classic name in the history of aerospace business. The company was founded already in 1912 and has during the years of operation produced both military and civil aircrafts. Among the most recognized models, the propeller powered Fokker 50 and the jet powered Fokker 100 are to be found. Both these airliners have served as so called regional jets or city hoppers since the middle 80´s. Fokker delivered its last complete airplane in 1996 and since then the business focus is on the production of electric wiring systems and landing gears, along with the complete overhaul and service of both airplane structures and jet engines. In October 2015 GKN plc. acquired Fokker and since then it’s a part of our very own GKN Aerospace.
At the site in Hoogerheide complete overhauls of the full aircrafts are performed and the facilities have their own landing runway to be able to welcome the planes arriving for service. We trainees didn´t knew exactly which expectations to place on our visit at the site and we were happily surprised when we almost immediately nearly clashed with three big airliners already in the first of many hangars. As we in our daily work focus our attention on isolated parts of the engines, it was very much welcomed to see these parts in their bigger context, both in the form of close encounters with the mounted engines and as part of the entire airplanes on display. We were also given the chance to live out our pilot dreams when we entered a cockpit, and we experienced how an airplane cabin feels even narrower when all the seats have been removed. To state it short, the day at Fokker was nothing else but a great success!
Happy and keen to gain even more experiences we returned to Amsterdam in the evening to enjoy a cozy canal boat tour, while at the same time pumping our minds for the next engaging day to come!Beautiful installations at the Amsterdam Lights Festival.