Difference between Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

What is the Difference between Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

There isn't too much of a difference per se between Aeronautical and Aerospace engineering. Aeronautical engineering is more of a subset of Aerospace engineering. Aeronautical engineers focus on building aircraft that fly within the earth's atmosphere.

They get an education in the basics of math, physics, and chemistry with more advanced studies in propulsion, Aerodynamics, sensors, power generation, and other scientific topics. Both, general Aerospace engineers and Aeronautical engineers study these topics, but Aerospace engineers may work on the spacecraft that goes outside of the earth's atmosphere, in the field known as astronautical engineering.

The Complete Guide to Aerospace Engineering

What is the difference between Aerospace Engineering and Astronautical Engineering?

While Aerospace engineers study the aforementioned topics, astronautical engineers have an additional task. They must build and design spacecraft that function both within the earth's atmosphere and outside of it. This includes topics like thermodynamics and quantum physics at the bachelor's level, and things like space navigation, rocket propulsion and orbital mechanics at a graduate level.

What Does Aerospace Mean?

The word Aerospace is a relatively new one as it was first used in the 1950s. The meaning of the word is anything pertaining to the earth's atmosphere and/or outer space.

Aerospace is comprised of two-word roots. Aero has its roots in the Greek word "aer," which means air, atmosphere or gases. You may recognize it from other words dealing with these topics like Aerosol and anAerobic. Space was first used in relation to outer space in the late 1800s. However, it has been used to mean an interval of distance since the 1400s. In this case, it may refer to both.

What Does Aeronautical Mean?

The word Aeronautical means anything related to building or flying aircraft within the earth's atmosphere. It was first used in the 1780s in relation to the burgeoning aircraft of the era - hot air balloons.

The word is made up of a few different parts: Aero, which you will recognize from Aerospace, and nautical. The latter is from the Greek word "nautikos", and means anything pertaining to ships and the sea. Of course, planes and spaceships do not go in the ocean, but they are ships of a sort.

What does Astronautical Mean?

Astronautical relates to the building and flying of aircraft that are meant to go into outer space. It contains the word for the scientists and travelers who pilot and live on these spacecraft, astronaut. The term was first used in the 1920s when the field of space travel became a possibility and interesting in society.

The prefix Astro comes from the Greek word of the same name meaning star. Thus, astronautical quite literally means, navigating a ship into the stars. Pretty, indeed. 

The Complete Guide to Aerospace Engineering

What is Aerospace Technology?

Aerospace technology is a broad field since planes, spacecraft and other flying objects have so many components to them in modern times. It includes everything from propulsion systems to airplane wings and helicopter blades.

However, it is much more than just the mechanics involved in flying. It also includes things like security and operational software that pilots use to make airborne vehicles work. Think of every detail that goes into an aircraft - that's Aerospace technology.

What is a Rocket Scientist?

Technically speaking, a rocket scientist isn't an official position. NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, says there are rocket engineers and scientists, but there isn't necessarily one position that combines the two disciplines. However, rocket engineers and scientists may work together on Aerospace projects.

Rocket scientists may be thought of as people who work on propulsion systems for Aerospace projects, or anyone who works in the Aerospace field. How do you become one? Well, since it is synonymous with an Aerospace engineer, the path is very similar. Just get a degree in the topic and you might consider telling people you are a rocket scientist!

History of Aerospace Engineering

The human mind has always looked to the sky to push the limits of what is possible. Well, in this regard you can say that these early dreamers were the first Aerospace engineers, though they were probably very different than the ones we know today. Since the time of Da Vinci, brilliant minds have designed and sketched different flying machines, but never brought them to fruition.

The first humans took flight in the 1780s with the invention of the hot air balloon. Since that moment in time, a slew of inventors attempted to create a propulsion system for hot air balloons, and scientists and inventors began to study gliders which helped them learn about Aerodynamics.

Manbir Kaur [Aero Engineer] 

Director    [Business Development]  

AirCrews Aviation Pvt. Ltd.


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