Visit Saab and group dinner

Sjoerd Berning

Today we slept in a small hostel at the edge of the town Ljungsbro .The cute hostel only had 1 shower for 16 people! Therefore, the sound of mobile phone alarms filled the air already at 6:30 in the morning. At the time everybody was all fresh and clean people could enjoy there breakfast at the ”matsal”.

Mark and Femke, who ended their part of the studytour yesterday, are succeeded by Pim and Julien. They will accompany us for the following 10 days of our study tour. Their timing could not have been better, because today we will visit one of the most interesting companies of the whole program: Saab.

For those of you who might be confused right now: “ Saab and aerospace? I thought they made cars”. Yes, Saab made cars after WW2, but sold their automobile division 1990 to GM.
However, Saab actually started in 1937 as an aerospace company. When the Swedish government wanted to be able to produce their own military aircraft, a deal was made and Saab was born! Building military aircraft for the Swedish government.

At 9am we arrived at Saab in Linköping. Katherina and Magnus welcomed us and after an interesting presentation about Saab. Magnus showed us around the workshop of the aerostructures department of Saab. It was huge! Saab aerostructures designs and manufactures for the 787 Boeing aircraft and all Airbus programs. The parts that they produce varies from doors for the A330 to the whole leading edge of the A380 wings. Unfortunately, no pictures could be taken during our visit.

In order to stay competitive with low-cost countries, their focus lies on the efficiency of the manufacturing process. They try to achieve that already in the design process. For example, they managed to cut down the number of composites parts from 28 to only 2 for the production of the aileron of the Airbus A320.

After the lunch, the highlight of our tour began. Saab showed us the highly secretive Grippen! This is the most advanced fighter jet that Saab produces. Two test engineers guided the group in this exceptional visit. There were two Gripens present in the Hangar. One of those two Gripens was the first Gripen E to be exported to Brazil. The other Grippen was the test vehicle of Saab.

The test engineer told us passionately about the aircraft and why it was one of the best fighter jets around. In short: the Gripen is one of the most affordable fighter jets out there. Due to the fact that it has only one engine and can be operated with a small crew, its maintenance and operational costs are relatively low. The small crew also creates the opportunity to scatter the aircaft all around the country making it impossible to destroy the whole fleet at once. Another great advantage of the grippen are the frequent updates ensuring a modern up-to-date fighter along its life cycle. In short: a must-buy!

Finally, we gave a presentation to Saab about the TU Delft. We told them about our faculty, the dreamteams and of course about the VSV itself! When the presentation was done it was time to leave Saab and head to Stockholm as it was already 15:30 and it was at least a 2 hour drive.

Once in Stockholm we dropped our bags in the hostel and headed to a rooftop restaurant in the middle of Stockholm. The restaurant was located at the 25th floor ensuring a beautiful view of the city. At the end of the 3 course dinner some people headed back to hostel to take a rest from this long day, others explored the nightlife of Stockholm;)

Hiking in Sweden

Femke Middelhoek

Hi all! I’m Femke Middelhoek, a bachelor student in Aerospace Engineering and it is my pleasure to describe our experiences during the 15th of September, the 11th day of our studytour, in this blog.

As the alarm went of it was time to prepare for the journey from Gothenburg to Linköping. This would be our first no-staff-day, since after Femke leaving on Friday, Marc too had left us that morning. One of the last conversations I had with him was the following. On Saturday morning in the bus the studytour Committee had announced the following: “Our guides have arranged the ferry and they will bring lunch for us too”. Marc: “How ferry nice of them”. You probably should have been there.

As it was announced the day before we would stop approximately halfway during our bus trip at one of Sweden’s most famous national parks, hence everyone had to make sure to bring their own lunch. This was done in both a Dutch and a student like way: Prepare sandwiches during the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet and smuggle them outside, unanimously accepted as a proper way to provide your own lunch.

After a bus trip of around 3.5h, including a much-appreciated stop at the Burger King, we arrived at Tiveden National Parc. It was mentioned that one could take both the white and orange track, and even combine them. As the majority of the group decided to do the white trail, some (including me) felt the urge to go the other way following the orange signs. Experience would teach us that combining them resulted in doing both the tracks in reverse, and the knowledge that descending a pile of rocks is very uncomfortable. When we reached the white track, we ran into the rest of the group, where they stated that the road for us to come was not that interesting. As I was walking ahead of my group, where we would go was fully in my hands. Therefore, taking the previous comment into account, I decided to include some of the grey trail in our path. We were not lost; this was done on purpose. Tiveden national parc was very beautiful, large pine forests with multiple small and large lakes spread around. Some trails include a lot of climbing and finding your path, which I really enjoyed, others are less adventurous but still give you a chance to admire the impressive nature. After a break of 3 hours, when everyone was properly “uitgewaaid”, we returned to the bus and continued our tour for the day.

When we reached the hostel in Ljungsbro, spacious rooms were awaiting us. The city center of the town was not the most booming we had encountered so far, so a pizza would suffice for dinner. As a busy day awaits us tomorrow, including both visiting a company for the entire day and travelling to Stockholm afterwards, most of us went for some rest and a good night of sleep. I am excited to see what tomorrow will bring. Cheerio!