Metal Model Technician

Aircraft Research Association (ARA) is a unique SME and the UK’s leading independent transonic wind tunnel with a passionate workforce of engineering and aerodynamic professionals. We are a leading specialist in aerodynamic research providing complementary services and solutions to international aerospace and defence clients. Our clients include Saab, Bombardier, Boeing, Turkish Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Comac and BAE Systems.

Typical projects include producing scaled-down military and civilian aircraft models, comprising multiple parts, which are assembled together and used as highly accurate forces/pressures measuring devices within the on-site high-speed (transonic) wind tunnel.

We are seeking to recruit motivated and talented Metal Model Technicians working as part of our Design and Manufacture Department and who are team players, confident individuals with a positive attitude.  Reporting to the Fitting Manager, the ideal candidates will have considerable experience in fitting and assembling tunnel components as well as off-line CNC programming with the drive and commitment to overcome technical problems as soon as they arise.

Salary range: £32,000 – £38,000 per annum (depending upon experience)

Grade – 5

Typical hours – Full-time, 38-hours per week

This is a varied and demanding role involving a number of duties and responsibilities:

  • Complete off-line CNC programming using Delcam Powermill and Powershape.
  • Complete online programming using Heidenhein and CNC machine operation ensuring best use of asset capability, minimise material waste and maximise efficiency.
  • Carry out all aspects of fitting activity (hand working surfaces to remove machine marks, blending component joint lines to remove steps/gaps, fitting precision components, installing pressure tubing and assembling models) as directed.
  • Ensure that the minimum direct (project) booking requirement is achieved (see above), using correct project booking codes for work completed.
  • Operate multiple machines when required.
  • If handover of the work is required, ensure this it carried out effectively and that adequate notes and technical advice are available.
  • Make recommendations on observations for process improvement techniques and hardware operation.
  • To undertake such other duties and responsibilities as may be reasonably required within the grade and level of the post.


  • Solid understanding of model manufacturing skills such as EDM wiring and plunge, turning, jig boring, grinding.
  • Practical knowledge of off-line CNC programming.
  • Experienced in the effective and efficient bench fitting of components, sub-assemblies and assemblies.
  • Preferably proficient and experienced Metal Model Maker.
  • Experience of tightly-toleranced bespoke component manufacture.
  • A team player, confident and capable of mentoring and coaching less experienced staff.
  • Flexible and positive attitude, willing to go the extra mile to ensure that project manufacturing schedules are met or exceeded.

Our Benefits:

This is an exciting permanent opportunity for the right person to be part of a successful and established precision manufacturing team, operating in an excellent facility.  In return, we offer a range of benefits including: a competitive salary and pension scheme, free parking, employee assistance programme, private health insurance and 26 days’ annual leave plus Bank Holidays (increasing with length of service after 5 years’ service).

The successful candidate must satisfy security clearance requirements – including the last 5 years continual UK residency.

Aircraft Research Association Ltd is proud to be an Equal Opportunities Employer. We recognise the value in an inclusive and diverse workforce and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified people.

If you think you are the person we are looking for, please complete the form below.

Contact us

Aircraft Research Association Limited

Manton Lane, Bedford, England MK41 7PF

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