Maxime Wendling knows helicopters inside and out
Maxime Wendling began working with helicopters right from the beginning of his career, first as a Safran Engineering Services subcontractor and now as an employee of the company. A big fan of many means of transportation, Maxime speaks to us about his journey and his great curiosity for all of the technical aspects of the machines he works on.
"I have always been fascinated with vehicles, especially cars. But in the south, helicopters are what you find at the core of industrial life," explains Maxime Wendling, an engineer at Safran Engineering Services in Vitrolles near Marseille, France. Born in Noumea in New Caledonia, he attended the Marseille campus of the Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne and has chosen to live in southern France. He went through a cooperative education and training program and specialized in industrial IT and electronics.
In 2011, after finishing his studies, Maxime was recruited as a subcontractor for Safran Engineering Services. He worked on an assignment for the Airbus Helicopters account. It was his first encounter with a propeller aircraft. He was assistant project manager then technical manager for the EC 175 program. The Safran team created the 3D plans for integrating electrical harnesses and the assembly instructions. As for Maxime, he was responsible for the quality of the 2D plans, the approval process, responses to production and assembly disputes, and impact analyses if modifications were requested.
In 2013, he began working on writing the configuration/customization documents for the l’H 155, de l’EC120 et de l’H125. He would remain in that role for three months before being assigned to the test bench. "For two years, I was in charge of maintaining the H160 system benches as well as maintaining operations and machinery changes for three different benches." Later, he helped create benches under the supervision of architects.. "It was very interesting because it required significant cooperation within the company. The design was created by our Safran Engineering Services teams in Bangalore, India; production was handled by the Safran Electrical & Power site in Temara, Morocco; and assembly was done by the Safran Electrical & Power teams in Vitrolles, France. I spent six weeks in India to train Indian employees. It's a wonderful memory," he shares.
In July 2017 after the Indian team delivered the plans, Maxime officially joined the ranks of Safran Engineering Services. Six months later, he began working on the Vehicle Monitoring System division of Airbus Helicopter's new Helionix avionics suite. The purpose of the latter is to collect and process information from the helicopter's systems (such as the gearbox, climate control, and lighting) and transmit that information to the pilot. "Airbus Helicopters is developing the software for this purpose. My role is to test and approve the expected behaviors during the development and certification phase based on the client's requirements."
What does he like best about his job? "Learning every day," he says, "and working on helicopters which are complex systems is very enriching. In addition to knowing where the equipment is located, when I check how the software is behaving, I find out how they operate, with their logic and interdependencies." Now, Maxime is also looking towards the future and wonders if he will increase his technical expertise or explore project and team management further. He isn't sure, but he keeps the goal he has set in mind: to always learn more.
- © Safran