Aerospace engineering is defined as a field associated with the design, development, and manufacturing of aircraft and spacecraft. There are two overlapping branches in this field: aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Aeronautical engineering refers to aircraft that operate within Earth’s atmosphere, while astronautical engineering refers to spacecraft that operate beyond Earth’s atmosphere. In order to familiarize yourself with aerospace engineering, here are 6 fun facts you probably didn’t know about aerospace engineering.
1. A Boeing 747, one of the largest commercial aircraft models, has over 6 million different parts. In comparison, the average car has around 30,000 different parts, including nuts and bolts. Of the 6 million parts in a Boeing 747-400 aircraft, about half of these parts are fasteners. There’s also about 171 miles of wiring and 5 miles of tubing.
2. According to “Engineering” written by Kaydon Al Stanzione, the term “aerospace engineering” first appeared in 1958. This term was actually a compound word derived from “aerospace,” referring to the combination of Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. Conveniently, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was formed the same year.
3. Aerospace engineering is complicated and incorporates many different elements. These elements include fluid mechanics, astrodynamics, mathematics, electrotechnology, control engineering, solid mechanics, software, avionics, flight text, materials science, noise control, risk and reliability, and more.
4. Despite what college professors and high school career counselors are saying, aerospace engineers are in high demand. The average salary for this profession is almost $108,000. Commercial air travel is expected to keep growing in the years to come, driving demand for engineers.
5. Like most professionals, schooling is required for aerospace engineering. While entry-level aerospace engineers require a Bachelor’s degree, many in the field find Master’s will open more doors.
6. People confuse aerospace engineering and avionics engineering. While they do share some similarities, they are unique concepts with their own niche fields. Aerospace is concerned with developing aircraft and spacecraft, while avionics is concerned with developing aviation electronic equipment.
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