Trio of apprentices ready for take-off at Airframe Designs

A trio of apprentices are making their way in the world of aerospace engineering at specialist Airframe Designs.

The trio, Louis Prescott, Bailey Black and James Hodgkiss are all enrolled on the Manufacturing Engineering Degree Apprenticeship at Blackpool and the Fylde College.


They have become part of the team at Blackpool-based Airframe Designs as it continues to grow its specialisms in producing highly complex components to some of the largest aviation, defence and space organisations worldwide.

James Hodgkiss, 24, who lives in Poulton-le-Fylde, said: “I’m mostly involved in design which is an aspect of engineering I’ve always had a big interest in. It’s good to know we have the experienced engineers within the design team, they are always able to help if advice or guidance is required with the software and ensuring our designs are consistent. We all work as a team and I’m happy with my progress so far, and look forward to the future.”

Bailey Black, 19, from Carleton, near Blackpool, said: “My dad and his dad were engineers so it was a natural fit for me. I get to learn at college for my degree and also work with the team at Airframe Designs so it’s an ideal combination. I’m also doing a practical skills course at the moment.”

Supporting the apprentices are three veterans of the aerospace engineering industry. Design consultant Dean Kelly, senior concept design engineer Andrew White and senior design engineer Mark Dugdale all formerly worked on prestigious projects for BAE Systems.

Jerrod Hartley


CEO of Airframe Designs Jerrod Hartley said: “We believe in nurturing talent and giving our apprentices the best opportunities with a structured training programme. We are creating our own way of upskilling because the mentors pass on their specialist knowledge gained over many years every day to the apprentices. You can’t beat that.”

The teams working on specialist components at Airframe Designs span an age range of five decades with skills in design, analysis, certification and manufacturing.

Recent projects undertaken by Airframe Designs include the integration of new systems into heavy lift drone platforms, conceptual design at a platform level for new uncrewed air-systems, test rig and tooling for electric vehicle propulsion systems and most recently the design and analysis of operator consoles for a special mission aircraft.

For more information contact Airframe Designs, tel 01253 400320 or visit the Airframe Designs website.