July 25, 2024
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Frisch CouGears Go to the Boeing Helicopter Factory

Frisch’s First Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics team embarked on an unforgettable journey to Boeing’s helicopter factory and offices in Philadelphia on Wednesday, February 21 to participate in their Engineers Week celebration. Our day began with an exciting showcase of our robot at the Boeing cafeteria, where we had the privilege to engage with Boeing employees and engineers. We also had the opportunity to share our creation with members of college STEM clubs including Rutgers, University of Delaware, Penn State, and a First Robotics Challenge (FRC) robotics team from a local high school.

Later in the day, we were granted access to Boeing’s flight test facilities and helicopter hangar. Here, we saw Boeing’s Chinook helicopters, designed for the U.S. Army and other foreign militaries, alongside a special helicopter made for elite special forces. We witnessed U.S. military and Boeing personnel conducting thorough inspections in preparation for their test flights.

Our tour guide, Vince Lenge, walked us through the helicopter production line at Boeing’s expansive factory. With his expertise, we explored the facility, where we saw helicopters being built from start to finish; from assembling fuel tanks and cockpits to shaping fuselages and installing engines. A highlight of the trip was observing the precise assembly line, where Boeing technicians and mechanics constructed Chinook helicopters. Vince also explained how Boeing distributes military helicopters to foreign allies, revealing the complex network of defense cooperation. Finally, we were taken to a special area of the vast factory to see the Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft which operates as an airplane and a helicopter. The massive propellers are able to rotate from a horizontal position to a vertical position allowing it to take off as a helicopter but then fly as an airplane. Overall we were able to see and learn about the ways that Boeing builds and tests their military aircraft.

Thank you to Mr. Merritt, faculty advisor, Mr. Jesse Schwartzman, Frisch robotics mentor from Boeing, and Mr. Vince Lenge, Boeing trip coordinator and tour guide, for setting up this amazing experience and a one-of-a-kind tour of the incredible Boeing factory.

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