The image of the traditional airline mechanic is firmly established: Toolbox in hand, he dutifully checks a plane's systems and components, relying on an intimate knowledge of various parts and how they interact to conduct the maintenance necessary to keep the aircraft in protected working order. He is someone who doesn't mind getting his hands dirty and is highly skilled at using conventional tools. But with high-tech, next-generation planes such as the 787, A380 and A350 XWB set to enter ...

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