Aviation engineering is the science of designing, developing, and assembling aircraft. Aviation engineers focus on airspace development, airport design, aircraft navigation technologies, and aerodrome planning.
Aerospace VS Aeronautical Engineering
A degree in aerospace engineering and a degree in aeronautical engineering both prepare students to design aircraft. In fact, aeronautical engineering is a branch of aerospace engineering. Though the two degree programs teach similar engineering principles, there is a critical distinction between designing for air and space. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Engineering for Air or Space Flight
Aerospace engineering is concerned with designing and building aircraft and spacecraft. Aerospace engineering can be divided into two specializations: aeronautical engineers, who handle aircraft, and astronautical engineers, who design spacecraft.
A bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering would likely include both specializations, whereas a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering would focus solely on those vehicles that fly within the Earth’s atmosphere. Both options usually require students to take some similar courses, like dynamics, propulsion, and fluid mechanics.
Aeronautical engineering is the practice of designing and building aircraft, like airplanes and helicopters. Students earning a degree in aeronautical engineering take classes such as:
- Heat Transfer
- Aircraft Structures
- Flight Mechanics
- Aircraft Stability and Control
Aerospace Engineering and Astronautics
On the astronautical side of aerospace engineering, professionals design and build units like space shuttles and space stations. In addition to the aeronautical engineering courses listed above, students earning a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering will take astronautical courses like:
- Spacecraft Design
- Introduction to Astronautics
- Fundamentals of Jet Propulsion
- Spacecraft Dynamics
- Orbital Mechanics