Aerospace engineering Definition and 48 Discussions

Aerospace engineering is the primary field of engineering concerned with the development of aircraft and spacecraft. It has two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. Avionics engineering is similar, but deals with the electronics side of aerospace engineering.
"Aeronautical engineering" was the original term for the field. As flight technology advanced to include vehicles operating in outer space, the broader term "aerospace engineering" has come into use. Aerospace engineering, particularly the astronautics branch, is often colloquially referred to as "rocket science".

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  1. Someon332

    Good books/resources for getting into aerodynamics?

    TL;DR Summary: I want to know some good resourced on aerodynamics and the viability of a project I want to make. Hey everyone! First post here, so if I do something wrong please do tell me :) What are some good resources for getting into aerospace engineering and aerodynamics? I currently have...
  2. T

    Engineering Should I study Engineering Physics or Mechanical Engineering?

    I am unsure of what career to choose. I really like Physics and Math, and I have this desire to know more about things, which is what EP has to offer. I think that EP is mainly theoretical and does not teach many practice, but I believe that I can complement this by entering groups in my...
  3. C

    Most Fundamental or Important Class for Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering

    Summary:: I am looking to take a engineering classes relevant to mechanical and or aerospace engineering. I am challenging my assumption that Statics & Dynamics is the most important and foundational/fundamental course to either mechanical or aerospace engineering (maybe fluid dynamics for...
  4. AJSayad

    Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering Undergrad Senior Design Project

    Hi everyone, This semester I'm enrolled in a senior design course where the students must fully design and fabricate a project from scratch that solves a problem. I've been struggling to think of ideas, so far I have some ideas on a windmill/turbine and a few electricity generation device ideas...
  5. AJSayad

    Getting into the Aerospace Industry: Fluid Mechanics/Aerodynamics or Robotics/Dynamical Systems?

    Summary:: What is the best way to get into the Aerospace Engineering Industry? Hi everyone, I'm new to the physics forums. My name is Andrew, I'm going to be in my undergrad Senior year in mechanical engineering this coming fall. I've recently been looking into PhD programs and I've been...
  6. S

    MATLAB Calculating the time taken for an asteroid mission using MATLAB

    Using MATLAB, I am trying to calculate the time taken for a spacecraft to travel from Earth to a near Earth asteroid and then returning back to Earth but so far I have had no luck. Furthermore, I want to plot a Hohmann transfer and calculate the mass of fuel required for this mission. If...
  7. J

    Typical surface roughness heights for aircraft surfaces

    Hello! I am investigating some preliminary aerodynamics on a regional turboprop and for the drag model the surface roughness height of the airplane is required as an input. For this i do not have any data. In which range are the typical values for modern aircraft surfaces? Thanks a lot!
  8. R

    Is it possible to put multiple accelerator grids in an ion engine?

    Is it possible to put multiple accelerator grid in ion engine instead of one? So we will get higher exhaust velocity and benefit for us right? or is there any disadvantages?
  9. R

    Why does a vacuum rocket engine always produce a higher thrust than the sea level version?

    Why do vacuum rocket engine always producing high thrust than sea level rocket engine ? for example spacex's merlin vacuum engine produce more thrust than merlin sea level engine. And it is due to the big nozzle with large area in vacuum engine because when the flow reaches mach 1 in the throat...
  10. S

    Need Help [rocketry]

    Summary:: Looking for people who can guide me in what I want to pursue I am a 15 year old and I am an enthusiast. I have been fascinated by rocket science and I have been learning some advanced rocket science principles from the past year. I have a few Ideas for Launch Vehicles and would like...
  11. E

    Question about variations of the Sun's path over long periods of time

    Hello. I am a filmmaker writing a screenplay and I am in need of technical support to validate a method being used in the film. I am going to post this in the Earth Science forum but I'll copy it here, in case anyone reading this might know. Thank you all! "I am wondering if shadows cast...
  12. S

    Aeronautical Engineering or Nuclear Engineering?

    How did you find PF?: Via Google Hello, I am a new member here. Thano you for having me ! Im going through a dilemma. Next year I will have to choose a subject for higher studies. I want to work in space organisations in future and I like space researches. So basically Aeronautical Engineer...
  13. sully21

    Courses What is it like to work as an Astrophysicist or an Aerospace Engineer?

    Hi all. I'm currently an aerospace engineering undergraduate student in my second year, but I'm going through a very confusing process of second guessings and would greatly appreciate advice from older people who work in the Aerospace or in the Physics/Astronomy fields to help me compare the...
  14. chasemcd

    Schools Ryerson vs UofT Aerospace Engineering

    I see this question has been asked here before but that was 9 years ago and I’d like to get more up to do opinions. I’m trying to make my final decision and any input would be appreciated. I’ve been accepted into both UofT’s Engineering Science program and Ryerson’s Aerospace Engineering...
  15. AdrianHudson

    I What is the difference between thrust and thrust density?

    The picture above has thrust density as a column and I am not too sure what that is. Can anyone explain to me what the difference between thrust and thrust density? Thank you for your answers!
  16. U

    Aerospace and Physics double major? or Aerospace masters?

    If my goal job title were to be aerospace engineer, what would employer like more: Double major in aerospace engineering and physics, or a masters in aerospace engineering. The reason it is one or the other is I would only like to do only 4 years of school and I can complete a masters in four...
  17. kuolemaloki

    Engineering Astrophysics going on to Aerospace Engineering

    Hi all! I am currently doing my undergrad in Astronomy and Astrophysics and minoring in Computational Mathematics. I am starting to think about grad school and facing a dilemma: I would like to eventually receive a PhD in Astrophysics, but in the future I would possibly like to apply my...
  18. U

    Engineering Should I major in Computer Science, Physics, or Aerospace Engineering?

    << Mentor Note -- two threads on same subject merged. Please do not cross-post across forums here >> I am passionate about Physics, Computer Science, and Aerospace Engineering. I am about to start my freshman year of college in the fall and have yet to decide which would be the most reliable...
  19. A

    Aerodynamics: Recirculation Zone Wake and Speed

    How does speed effect the recirculation zone and wake for supersonic and hypersonic speeds? Does it get longer, wider? Also this is for a blunt body like apollo reentering
  20. D

    Flight Mechanics - Range and Payload calculations

    Homework Statement Assume that m(fuel, climb) = 1300kg is the mass of fuel required for the climb to the cruising altitude of 10,000m, independently of the take-off weight. Assume that the distance covered during the climb is always 100km. Consider the typical payload-range diagram shown and...
  21. F

    Schools Hoping to study Aerospace Engineering (RMIT vs Monash)

    Any Ideas about which is better? Attending Monash (Clayton) Open Day tomorrow, and RMIT(CBD) Next week. [Not sure if attending 10 to 4 Tour(Mechanical, Aerospace and Mechatronics) or Half Hr Info Section(Aerospace)] In terms of: Manufacture rather than become an Astronaut Degree-related work...
  22. JayFlynn

    Why use Earth as a gravity assist?

    I am doing research for my aerospace engineering dissertation to plan a mission to a Jupiter trojan asteroid. I was researching the type of outgoing trajectories used in missions such as JUNO, Galileo and Europa and noticed they all use Earth as a gravity assist in getting to deep space. Surely...
  23. Neven

    Which kind of Engineer?

    HI , I'm a bit early for those kind of questions but my passion is the space ,my dream is to go in the space so i was wondering which type of engineer goes in space and if its the AeroEngineer , is the mechanicalE turn into aerospaceE ? P.S I am not english first language sorry if i spelled...
  24. T

    Engineering ME or AE to enter the field of AE

    I want to work in the field of AE, I live in India and am applying to institutions in the US for undergrad. A lot of people told me that as an international student or even as person it will be very hard to get a job in the field of aerospace if I major in AE. If instead, I major in ME with a...
  25. rfranceschetti

    Engineering Aerospace engineering non-conventional applications

    Hello guys, I'd like to know what non-conventional areas (i.e., not related to the airspace, aircrafts, satellites, etc) an aerospace engineer could work in. I've read somewhere that some aerospace engineers work with high-performance cars aerodynamics. Do you guys know something similar...
  26. Alexandros101

    Programs Physics/CS DMajor, for a career in Aerospace?

    I want to get into Aerospace engineering, so I am thinking of doing: B.A. in Physics/CS (hopefully if I get accepted in UChicago) then an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering (hopefully in Stanford/GTech/MIT/CalTech) Is the double major I am thinking of poor if I want to do an Aero M.S. next? Would...
  27. ramzerimar

    Is Machine Design important for Aerospace Engineering?

    I'm a Mechanical Engineering student intending to pursue a Master's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering after college, and Machine Design is one of the disciplines I'm going to take next year. I understand the importance of various topics in mechanical engineering to an aircraft project (topics...
  28. Ian Baughman

    Physics vs. Engineering

    So I know that this kind of discussion comes up somewhat regularly but I'm hoping to gain a better insight before I have to make a decision. I currently am finishing up my pre-reqs at a community college and am getting ready to submit my application for the university. For the longest time I...
  29. yeezyseason3

    Programs Double major in aerospace engineering and physics?

    I understand that this question has already been asked but I am still not satisfied with the answers given. My original plan was to do applied physics with a specialty in astrodynamics and propulsion with a minor in astronomy. Unfortunately most of the classes with in the aero department were...
  30. E

    Superposition of Moments of Inertia about Different CGs

    Hi all, You can use superposition to add moments of inertia when they're calculated about the same center of gravity (cg), but let's say you calculate the moments of inertia of several elements of a system about one cg and then use the Parallel Axis Theorem to then reference the total moments...
  31. winx

    Aerospace engineering

    Well this is my first post, i am currently in the last year of school, looking forward to apply for universities in Canada (on a student visa). Though earlier i was very adamant to do aerospace engineer particularly for its 'astronautical' part, well, i know its not easy to get into space...
  32. pioneerboy

    Aerospace prospects of EE/ME

    Hello there, I have a few questions concerning how the choice between electrical and mechanical engineering influences one's future career if going into the aerospace branch - if possible at all. Can you do a Master or graduate in aerospace engineering with an undergraduate degree in one or the...
  33. O

    Why Does Bernoulli's Equation Apply to Wind Tunnels?

    I hope this question doesn't have too obvious of an answer. Basically, I still cannot grasp why Bernoulli's equation applies for wind tunnels and pitot-static probes. According to my textbook ("Introduction to Flight" by Anderson), Bernoulli's equation holds only when comparing two points...
  34. RooksAndBooks

    Avionics Programming Learning Materials?

    I'm an aspiring aerospace engineer. I know that Ada is a language used in many planes today, but I can't find anything to learn about Ada for avionics--I couldn't find books or tutorials. Do any of you guys have any recommendations on how to go about this? I'm very interested in teaching myself...
  35. T

    Engineering Languages to learn for AE (Aerospace Engineering)

    I'm in 11th standard and can speak English fluently. What do foreign languages do you recommend I learn in ?
  36. 2

    What subjects to focus on as an EE interested in Aerospace?

    Hello, I am currently pursuing my BS in EE. I am interested in avionics and would like to eventually work in the aerospace industry. What sort of topics should I focus on? I did an initial search on the forums and people have noted that these subjects are relevant: - Control Systems -...
  37. O

    Advice Needed: AeroE vs. Comp. Sci. Undergrad.

    Hey everyone, I am new to the forums, so I'll take a second to introduce myself. My name is Michael. I am 26 years old, and had a delayed start into college because simply put, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life other than make money. Ironically, this isn't my goal anymore. I want a...
  38. R

    Astrophysics Career

    Hi, I am currently a sophomore in high school and wish to pursuit a a PhD in astrophysics. I was wondering how life as a astrophysicist is actually like and as well how difficult it is to reach it. I have a pretty strong background in math and science as I am currently in Calculus AB and plan...
  39. X

    Schools Dilemma regarding decision between two top universities

    Hello everyone :) For a while now I have been a lurker on this website. I absolutely love the amount answers one can find to their questions. However, at the moment I am facing a great difficulty in deciding which university I should go to. I have been accepted by several top universities...
  40. 2ded12

    Help making decision on what to study to work on spacecraft

    I need help picking the best route to a careers to do with propulsion systems in space and launch vehicles. Initially, I would have pick the obvious course for this which is aerospace engineering, which most jobs want as basic requirement. But now I understand that the electronics course at this...
  41. J

    Programs Aerospace and Physics Double/Dual Major

    So, I am getting close to college (going to Mississippi State), and I know I want to do ASE and Physics (pref. Theoretical). MSU doesn't offer Engineering Physics or I would do that, but on the bright side I worked my ass offin high school, and I am transferring with 33 dual enrollment hours. My...
  42. F

    Can I switch from Comp Sci to Aerospace?

    Hello. Currently i am interested on aerospace and nuclear engineering in the usa. However i was just curious about something. Is it possible for a person who has completed BS in computer science and electronics engineering from another country to switch to Aerospace or nuclear engineering for MS...
  43. H

    Can applied physicists be CFD analysts

    I am about to graduate with an aerospace engineering degree. I am planning to go into grad school for Applied physics(probably plasma physics), which I find very interesting. But the main reason I joined the aerospace degree was because I was interested in CFD. But since I could't land any...
  44. A

    Switching to AERO?

    I am in my semester in computer engineering iam doing Python now and never took programming before and i previously acquired a 1 year certification in computer networking, programming is interesting but so far, i have not found passion in it, i always wanted to do Aerospace, however; iam just...
  45. T

    Engineering Aerospace engineering or Engineering physics for the Space Industry?

    Hi everyone, I'm currently finishing my bachelor's degree in engineering physics (integrated master´s) and wondering what I should pursue on my master's degree and if I should move from my current path. My main objective is to work in the space industry (quite vague I imagine). Would it be...
  46. W

    What are the main areas of physics and mathematics for aerospace engineer?

    Hello. I'm not a mechanical or aerospace ingineer, but it's interesting for me. What are the main areas of physics and mathematics for aerospace engineer? It seems to me, that main areas of maths are calculus and differential equations, maybe some linear algebra. And I think, that main areas of...
  47. Freddy Diaz

    V-Tail and Aileron-Less Design

    Hi Physics Community, I'm working on the design of an aileron less and tail engine small UAV (Wing span 800mm) but I got stuck in Stability and Control. I recall from a teacher that a V-tail design is good for those configurations. However, I cannot find references to calculate/estimate neither...
  48. Luois Mers

    Engineering Materials engineering vs Mechanical engineering

    I am an student of Materials engineering I'm 4th semester. I have always wanted to develop airplanes (I grew up close to an airport). I know for some articles on internet that Mechanical engineering is closely related to aerospace engineering. Over the 4th semesters in materials engineering I...