Monday, March 26, 2012

Aeronautical Engineering at a Glance

Aerospace engineering is the primary branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction, and science of aircraft and spacecraft. It is divided into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. The former deals with craft that stay within Earth's atmosphere, and the latter with craft that operate outside it.

Aerospace Engineering deals with the design, construction, and study of the science behind the forces and physical properties of aircraft, rockets, flying craft, and spacecraft. The field also covers their aerodynamic characteristics and behaviors, airfoil, control surfaces, lift, drag, and other properties. 

Aerospace engineering is not to be confused with the various other fields of engineering that go into designing elements of these complex craft. For example, the design of aircraft avionics, while certainly part of the system as a whole, would rather be considered electrical engineering, or perhaps computer engineering. Or an aircraft's landing gear system may be considered primarily the field of mechanical engineering. There is typically a combination of many disciplines that make up aerospace engineering.

While aeronautical engineering was the original term, the broader "aerospace" has superseded it in usage, as flight technology advanced to include craft operating in outer space.Aerospace engineering, particularly the astronautics branch, is referred to colloquially as "rocket science".

Job Opportunities
The Indian aerospace industry is growing rapidly but as compared to the Europe or the United States it is small in size. In India you will most likely be employed in government owned enterprises such as ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation), HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.), NAL (National Aeronautics Labs), etc. The new area of opportunities are emerging as many global airlines operators and aircraft companies planning to open their MRO- Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facilities in India.   A lot of prestige is associated with working in these organisations and they attract the top brains in the country.

You could also work for airlines like Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, KingFisher etc. Openings also exist in civil aviation departments as well as the Indian Air Force.

There is no dearth of opportunities for those who wish to work abroad. In fact, a large percentage of engineers at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, United States) are Indians. The same is the case with aerospace giants like Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, etc.