Aerospace Engineering: What is it?

Aerospace engineering deals with the designing and building side of flying machines. This is a relatively new type of engineering and it first appeared in the 19th century. Technology has soon progressed since then and two specialities which came with it were aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. Aeronautical involves designing aircraft’s like gliders, air crafts, fixed-wing aeroplanes and jets. Astronautical involves the designing and development of spacecraft’s.

An influential figure for aerospace is a man named Jules Henri Giffard who flew the first steerable steam-powered airship back in 1852. Another two innovators were Charles Renard and Arthur Constantin Krebs, they flew the first powered airship back to its starting point in 1844. Finally, Ferdinand von Zeppelin built and flew the first rigid airship and this was in 1900.

The 19th century saw lots of glider experiments, but in 1856 Jean-Marie Le Bris flew the first ever manned glider past its original launch point and this was done by a horse towing the glider along the beach.

You can read more about the history of aerospace engineering here!

moving on to what an aerospace engineer does, they design aircraft’s, spacecraft, satellites and missiles and this is all according to the BLS. On top of this, they test prototypes to ensure that everything goes to plan. Professionals test the design of components and subassemblies for aircraft’s. The parts of this include engines, airframes, wings, landing gear, control systems and instruments. Engineers may also perform or write the specifications for destructive and non-destructive testing for the strength, functionality, reliability, and the long-term durability of the aircraft and its parts. Below are some recent developments in aerospace engineering;

  • Aerospace modernisers are officially making their way into the automobile technology. This includes thermoelectric generators and hydrogen fuel cells.
  • A team of engineers have been able to create an algorithm which can convert brain waves into flight commands. A mind-controlled aircraft may be turning into a reality object sometime in the future.
  • “Cool-burning” flames are constantly being researched at International Space as they are deliberately setting things on fire to study this. The research can lead to more efficient car engines which mean less population.

If you would like to know more information on aerospace engineers such as where they work and the future of aerospace, please follow this link.