01.04.2014

A change of project management

For Lufthansa Technik's Lockheed Super Star project the new year coincided with a change of project manager. Andreas Gherman, who moved to Hamburg to take up the role of Head of Development Operations and IP Management, was succeeded as project manager based in Auburn by Andreas Pakszies, who had previously held the post of regional head of Aircraft Maintenance West Germany.

Andreas Pakszies can look back on 27 years with Lufthansa Technik and many professional highlights. Science and technology were already his favorite subjects in school, so his career path subsequently took him direct to a post in Engineering with Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg via a degree in Aircraft Design. Prior to his appointment as Super Star project manager Andreas Pakszies was the regional head of Line Maintenance West Germany, with responsibility for the West German line maintenance stations from Hamburg in the north to Stuttgart in the south – with the exception of the Lufthansa hubs of Frankfurt and Munich.

Andreas Pakszies has always been fascinated by aviation and to this day technology museums – and especially the aeronautical sections of these museums – exert a magical attraction on him. Andreas Pakszies says: "I make no distinction between historic aviation and modern aircraft design. In every era engineers have faced special technical challenges that they mastered with the possibilities that were available to them at the time. It began with the Wright brothers as pioneers of powered flight, continued with the Lockheed Super Star and also applies to the latest commercial aircraft types such as the Airbus A350 or the Boeing 787."

Pakszies sees his appointment as Super Star project manager as the high point of his career to date, not just as an engineer but also from the point of view of Lufthansa corporate history: "When you get the opportunity to work on such a once-in-a-lifetime project, you don't deliberate for long. So after consulting briefly with my family there was no question that I would agree to take up the project management position."

Andreas Pakszies is especially thrilled by the daily mix of engineering and production issues that the Super Star project team has to deal with. "This mixture of tasks fits exactly with my professional background which I can now fully contribute on the Super Star project," says the new project manager. He is very impressed by what has been accomplished in Auburn so far and by the motivation of the team on site. "It is noticeable that my colleagues fully identify with this project. And not only did this enthusiasm strike me immediately but it also draws all visitors to Auburn who care to take a look at the aircraft into its spell, whether they are project partners or sponsors."

Now that the structural work on the wing has entered the final phase, the integral tank pressure test prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will shortly follow. Engineering has largely completed the structural repairs and Pakszies notes that very good progress has also been made on the work of overhauling the components. "The landing gears overhauled in Hamburg will arrive over here right on time, like the four engines to be installed from Idaho. The pressure bulkhead is finished and has been fitted into the fuselage so that the rear fuselage barrel (barrel 8) can soon be finally mounted. The bulkhead directly behind the flight deck has also been integrated and now gives more structure to the fuselage interior," says Pakszies.

At the moment twelve apprentices from Hamburg under the direction of their instructor, Axel Panier, are, amongst other things, closing the fuselage structure around the aft passenger door which has been open since the cargo door was removed. Another area that the highly skilled team of apprentices is engaged in is structural work on the vertical stabilizer.

It is thus with optimism that he will be able to lead the Super Star project to a glittering finale that Andreas Pakszies looks ahead.