How to Build a Jumbo Jet Engine

The story of the thousands of people who design, build and test jet engines at Rolls-Royce’s manufacturing plants across the UK, and the astonishing technology behind the engines.

China is able to master 90% of Russia’s jet engine technology just by reverse engineering alone, but the last 10% is about material engineering (specifically, turbine fan blades with high tolerance, precision, and quality), and ability to output consistent quality during serial production (quality control).

It even had the core of the jet engine built as early as 2005, but building single-crystal blades on large volume manufacturing with consistent quality control is about time, patience, skilled engineers and money.

One piece of advice, having come through the apprenticeship scheme and have been working at rolls for 10 years. Be very humble when you’re in there. Grads are the lowest of the pile, even apprentices have more weight than you.

Grads have a really bad reputation, vast majority come in from university thinking they’re smarter than everyone else and generally just get knocked down a peg by everyone there.

Usually if there’s a stupid idea on the shop floor it comes from a grad. I know it’s a stereo type, but in my experience I’ve only known 2 grads over my time that were worth anything.

So that’s my advice, don’t go in there thinking you know best.

I was commenting about the voice over. Going on and on and on about how Derby’s whole economy was based around RR. What about the railways? Bombardier is a pretty major employer (although not as big) and there are a LOT of other railway engineering firms based in Derby. And they were there first.

To those who aren’t familiar with the industry, the people who you see tightening bolts and assembling the modules are not the engineers who spend years designing and working with manufacturers to create these parts. Everyone has their important role but lets not forget about the engineers who dream up and make these engines possible. I don’t feel like we saw enough of that in this clip and it’s important to note that fact.

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