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Aerospace or Aeronautical?

  1. Jun 2, 2006 #1
    Aerospace or Aeronautical???

    I'm a 17 year old IB student who takes the IB Diploma next year. My dream is to end up working on a high-flying Formula One (F1) team as their aerodynamisict. I also would like to work on plane models, space shuttles and cars...like designing them...I have a profound love of aerodynamics. But I ran into a problem when looking at university courses. I came across aerospace and aeronautical...what is the difference? The course structure looks the same...please advise me on which is better for my career wants.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2006 #2


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    In the UK it makes absolutely no odds, universities just decide to call the courses different things. Would put my neck out and say that goes for Europe and the US too, but someone else will be along in a while to say for sure.
  4. Jun 2, 2006 #3
    A major difference

    I don't know very minute differences between the two. But, one thing that I know for sure is that aerospace deals with space rockets, space crafts, etc. - stuff relating to space. While, aeronautical deals with passenger airplanes, military planes, etc. - stuff related to such vehicles flying in the atmosphere and not in space.
  5. Jun 2, 2006 #4
    Here is a good description of the two from an Embry Riddle site:

    Aeronautical vs. Astronautical
    Aerospace engineering is a combination of aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Aeronautical engineering is the engineering associated with atmospheric flight (which includes aircraft, helicopters, missiles) or even automobiles. The same principles of aeronautical engineering would apply to any fluid medium – such as water. Astronautical engineering is the engineering of space missions, which also covers a large number of topics.

    So in short Aerospace encompasses both space and atmospheric flight, while aeronautical concentrates solely on atmospheric flight.

    When I was in school as an Aerospace engineer I took classes in both but when I had a choice I took classes more closely associated with astronautical engineering although I certainly had the opportunity to take the aeronautical type classes (aircraft design, flight mechanis, CFD) classes if I had wanted to.
  6. Jun 6, 2006 #5


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    If they're not at the same university, I doubt there would be any difference.

    Perhaps it would be better for you to list your universities of choice and people could give advice on what they consider the best...
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