Aerospace Engineering Career Paths
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Published: Wed, 12 Jul 2017
The reason why I chose Aerospace Engineering as the career I want to pursue would be because I am always interested in flight as a child and teen both aircraft and space travel. Some of my favorite toys and hobbies included model airplanes, model rocketry, paper airplanes, and Lego’s, which is basically the toy of future engineers. I started sketching out my own ideas for future air and spacecraft as well as reading books and magazines about military aircraft, airplane design and construction, space travel, aviation history, and the aerospace industry. Since about the seventh grade I really started to become more serious about this career path and find ways to get into different programs. I wanted to work on projects like those I’d been reading about, and I never really wanted to do anything else except maybe architecture, civil engineering or aeronautical engineering.
Aerospace engineering is the branch of engineering behind the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft. It is broken 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 deals with craft that operates outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Aerospace engineers are responsible for creating exceptional machines like airplanes which weigh more than half a million pounds to spacecraft, which travel at a speed of more than 17,000 miles/hour. They are in charge of designing, developing and testing aircraft, spacecraft and missile systems as well as supervising the manufacturing process of these products. Aeronautical Engineers are those aerospace engineers who deal with airplanes, while Astronautic engineers are engineers who deal specifically with spacecraft. Without engineers the world would lack structure and productivity, and as you look around you can see all the projects that engineers have played a role with.
Technologies developed by aerospace engineers are used in aviation, defense, and space exploration and aerospace engineers may specialize in structural designing, guiding, navigating and controlling, instrumentation and communication, or production methodology. Technology like computer-aided design (CAD) software, robotics, laser and advanced electronic optics are used by them. Specialization in commercial transport, military fighter planes, helicopters, spacecraft, missile or rockets within the aerospace product is also possible. Aerospace engineers might also specialize in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, celestial mechanic systems, propulsion systems, acoustics, or guidance and control systems.
Biography of Neil Armstrong
Neil Alden Armstrong (born August 5, 1930) is an American aviator and a former astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, and United States Naval Aviator. He was the first person to set foot on the Moon. His first spaceflight was aboard Gemini 8 in 1966, for which he was the command pilot, becoming one of the first U.S. civilians to fly in space. On this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft together with pilot David Scott. Armstrong’s second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission on July 20, 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent 2Â½ hours exploring while Michael Collins remained in orbit in the Command Module. Armstrong is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor.
Before becoming an astronaut, Armstrong was in the United States Navy and saw action in the Korean War. After the war, he served as a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) High-Speed Flight Station, now known as the Dryden Flight Research Center, where he flew over 900 flights in a variety of aircraft. As a research pilot, Armstrong served as project pilot on the F-100 Super Sabre A and C aircraft, F-101 Voodoo, and the Lockheed F-104A Starfighter. He also flew the Bell X-1B, Bell X-5, North American X-15, F-105 Thunderchief, F-106 Delta Dart, B-47 Stratojet, KC-135 Stratotanker and Paresev. He graduated from Purdue University and the University of Southern California.
- Aerospace Engineering Feats
1) Moon Landing – Moon landings can be classified as a manned, but when you mention the moon landing then most people think of the first manned landing on the moon when the Apollo 11 mission placed two astronauts (Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin) onto the surface when he said ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’. I classified this as both aerospace and aeronautical engineering because first the space craft crosses through both hemispheres and I really can’t decide on which career to pick because I love them both.
2) Concorde – Between 1976 and 2003 the only way to fly transatlantic between London and New York (if you were lucky enough to be able to afford it) was by flying in Concorde- the world’s most successful supersonic passenger airline. Concorde was able to fly at an average speed of 1,330 mph and had a maximum cruise altitude of 60,000 feet making the flight time from London to New York only 3.5 hours long. The designers of Concorde had to pioneer and over come many engineering and technological challenges to make the airplane able to travel at such speeds and altitude. The aircraft enjoyed many successful years but was finally retired in 2003. A number of things coincided with the demise of Concorde, in part a change in the economic climate made the cost to fly transatlantic at supersonic speeds basically impossible, a crash of one of the Concorde fleet temporarily grounded the airplane and the design was showing signs of age approaching thirty years. Due to the lack of competition Concorde didn’t benefit from many upgrades over the years so the technology ended up being slightly dated. However, as dated as the engineering may have become over its lifecycle the fact remains that the concept of a supersonic commercial airline and the design that resulted from that concept hasn’t been surpassed and one could say that technology and engineering has receded with Concorde’s demise as no viable replacement has been put in place. Today high-class commercial passengers are restricted to the same lower speeds achievable by traditional aircraft. The days of supersonic passenger aircraft zooming across the Atlantic have therefore been grounded for the foreseeable future.
Different aerospace engineering jobs
Aircraft Customer Support Engineer
Aerospace Quality Engineer
Jamaica, New York
POWER ELECTRONICS ENGINEER
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