Equipped with protective glasses, safety shoes and identity badges, students from the Barsanti Technical and Industrial Institute in Pomigliano d’Arco displayed great enthusiasm when visiting our local factory as part of the project entitled “Studiare l’impresa, l’impresa di studiare” (literally: “Studying business ventures, the venture of studying”). Organised by the Unione Industriali di Napoli (Naples Industrial Association) and the Il Mattino daily newspaper and with the participation of Avio Aero for the third consecutive year, the meetings aim to introduce high school students to local companies and help them gain an understanding of professions, business dynamics and the mechanisms behind the labour market. The meeting was covered by a journalist from the Il Mattino newspaper, the project’s media partner.
The visit to the Avio Aero factory consisted of a tour of the facility’s 84,000 square metres of innovative engineering in 4 areas of production: machining, air foil, test room and repairs. The students, who are all in their penultimate year of high school, sections L and F, were accompanied by head teacher Mario Rosario Ponsiglione and teachers Luigi Guadagno and Vincenzo Falco.
Our colleague Antonio Frosina was the first to welcome the group and take them on a guided tour of the combustor area. “For more than a century at Avio Aero we have been designing, manufacturing and overhauling systems and components for civil and military aircraft worldwide,” explained Frosina, who has been with the company for 25 years. “In this hall, highly specialised workers operate innovative machinery for drilling, welding and deburring, techniques that can be used to redefine the shapes of aircraft components.”
The students were both astonished and curious as the tour continued through the heat treatment area. “We treat and coat turbine parts made from special heat-resistant nickel superalloys,” continued Francesco Di Franco. “We also vaporize aluminium and carry out other thermochemical treatments that serve to prepare components for in-flight operation on engines where temperatures reach around 700-800 degrees centigrade.” The tour then continued in the Air Foil area reserved for machining blades for low pressure turbines. Here the students were welcomed by Raffaele Casillo, who explained: “In 1903 the Wright brothers successfully completed a thirty-metre flight at a speed of 50 kilometres an hour. Just over a hundred years later, planes now reach ceilings of more than 25,000 m and speeds greater than 3,600 km/h. This demonstrates the sheer scale of the investments that have been made in terms of technology and engineering.” The next stop was the turbine blade machining area. “Here we machine more than 5,000 blades per month, striving constantly to improve the production process and ensure excellence of both the product and the working environment,” concluded Casillo.
The next stop was the large testing room. “Complete engines arrive here by special transport using dedicated protective systems to prevent damage,” explained Francesco Gaudino. “After arriving at Pomigliano, the engines are moved to the preparation room where they are prepared for testing. At this stage, the accessories required for engine operation are installed and numerous sensors are connected to measure pressure, temperatures, thrust, rpm and other performance parameters.” During the tour, students had the chance to meet alumni from the Barsanti Institute who now work at Avio Aero and who enthusiastically explained to the young visitors how their school education had evolved into a career at one of the world’s largest aviation companies, a career that many of these students dream of and may well pursue in the future.