Difference between aerospace and aeronautical engineering

Difference between aerospace and aeronautical engineering

Difference between aerospace and aeronautical engineering

The pillars of engineering significantly support the socio-economic fabric of the earth. In today’s world, mobility in any form, for travelling to a specific destination on earth and outside has turned into a great subject of interest for humankind due to the constant curiosity and impulse of unearthing new secrets in the extreme corners of the globe and the universe.

Whether it is travelling to a forest for the sole purpose of adventure or researching other planets in outer space for signs of life, it always comes down to the work of engineers to supply the need for modern crafts meant for smooth mobility.

Innovation of Technology has paved the way for aspiring engineers to pursue their dreams with the emergence of new opportunities. The World Economic Forum has said that the development of aerial engineering will improve the value of new mobility.

In the Aerial Sphere of engineering, Aerospace engineering finds its place on the top. It is the sought after option for engineers who wish to pursue a career in aircraft development. Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering are two popular career paths in this field. The details about these fields are discussed below.

Aerospace engineering

The word Aerospace means the development of an element following the ideologies of science that is related to the earth’s atmosphere and the massive outer space. This branch of study has gained ample attention after the industrial development phase. Aerospace engineering is a significant field of engineering which involves the development of spacecraft and aircraft.

An Aerospace engineer designs aircrafts and spacecraft to suit the principles of engineering and scientific technology. Aerospace is one of the largest sectors of space engineering that aids various functional units like a missile, military, space, commercial, etc., on and outside the earth.

Aeronautical engineering

The term Aeronautics means the building of space or atmosphere related machines. Aeronautical engineering is the subject matter of Aerospace engineering. It is solely concerned about the designing of a spacecraft or aircraft or practically any flight-capable device.

This branch of study trains engineers in the design, construction, manufacture and testing of aircraft, missiles and spacecraft for the cause of military requirements and commercial sectors.

Aerodynamics and flight mechanisms take up the majority of this branch of engineering. Aeronautical engineers are also assigned to design supersonic jets, space shuttles, helicopters, rockets, satellites and launch them into space for research.

Future scope

Both these branches of engineering are greatly longed for branches of engineering. Aerospace Engineering is the second-highest-paid branch of engineering. Aerospace and Aeronautical engineering hold excellent scope for engineers due to the further development of technology. The future scopes of these branches are massive.

Being on the forefront of technology, the career opportunity for these subjects is varied. Air Force, Corporate Research, Airlines, Helicopter Companies, Aviation Companies, flying jet building, Defence Ministry, Mechanical Design Engineering, Aircraft Production Management, Aircraft Manufacturing sectors, Research laboratories and most importantly, NASA and ISRO offer an array of opportunities to aspiring engineers.

The difference between Aerospace engineering and Aeronautical engineering

Even if Aerospace and Aeronautics' terms sound similar, there are major differences between them, and they are listed below.

  • The subject of Aeronautical engineering is where aspiring engineers need to study a variety of forces that act on any airborne vehicle that remains within the earth's atmosphere.

On the other hand, Aerospace is the subject that deals with the study of aeronautical and Astronautical Elements of the discipline. Space does not have an atmosphere similar to the earth, consisting of density, viscosity, and several other factors. 

  • Engineers working in Aerospace can work both within an aircraft that functions within the earth atmosphere, like Helicopters and Airplanes and on an aeroplane that operates outside the earth's atmosphere, such as rockets, satellites, and Spacecraft. 
  • The eligibility of Aeronautical engineers is to work within an aircraft that functions inside the earth's atmosphere. Frequent aerospace engineering subjects include Spacecraft Design, Fundamentals of Jet Propulsion, Introduction to Astronautics, Spacecraft Dynamics and Orbital Mechanics. Some Regular issues of Aeronautical Engineering include Thermodynamics, Aircraft Structures, Heat Transfer, Flight Mechanics, and Aircraft Stability and Control.
  • Aerospace Engineering involves designing and developing civil aircraft, maintenance, building, testing missiles, rockets, space shuttles, and various other related units. It is the wider aspect comprising various smaller fields of engineering. In contrast, Astronautical engineering is the branch of Aerospace engineering which focuses on the study related to the designing and development of aircraft. In summary, Aeronautical engineering is a sub-category of Aerospace engineering.
  • Aerospace Engineering consists of numerous appealing topics such as mentioned:
  • Introduction to the field of Aeronautics 
  • The Fundamental Principles related to the propulsion of jets.
  • The Dynamics of Spacecraft
  • An introduction to Orbital Mechanics
  • The design of Spacecraft, aircraft, space stations, missiles, etc.

Whereas Aeronautical Engineering features different topics such as:

  • The Principles of Thermodynamics
  • Topics about Fluid Mechanics
  • Heat Transfer Principles
  • Study about the structure of aircrafts
  • The Mechanics of flights
  • Study about the stability and control of aircraft.
  • Aerospace engineering is a broader spectrum and a more advanced terminology compared to Aeronautical engineering. The fields of study are closely related to each other, but the subject matters are contrasting. 
  • Becoming an Aerospace engineer entails earning a bachelor's degree in the field of aerospace engineering and holding expert knowledge in thermodynamics. Aerospace engineers use technological theories to develop various aircraft.

On the other hand, the area of Aeronautics specializes in the layout and development of planes and other aircraft and own expertise in fields such as fluid dynamics or aeroacoustics. They need to possess a bachelor's degree in their area or a related engineering field, and earning a license may be required to advance to senior positions.

To conclude, one can say, both these subjects are highly desired by students who want to pursue a career in engineering. Like any other discipline, Aerospace engineering and Aeronautic engineering have their differences and can promise a successful career to aspiring engineers opting for jobs, worldwide.