Aeronautics is derived from the Greek word aero and nautics where the former means air and the later sailor thus literally meaning sailing the air. Originally the study was more on the science of operating the aircraft, but it soon got expanded to include technology, business and other aspects related to aircraft. Aerodynamics is one of significant parts in aeronautics, which deals with the motion of air and the way that it interacts with objects in motion, such as an aircraft.
Aeronautical Engineering is one of the most technologically advanced branches of engineering with a wide scope for growth. This discipline deals with the design, manufacture, functioning and maintenance of airborne vehicles like aircrafts, spacecrafts, helicopters and missiles for both commercial and military purpose. It requires the study of physical science and mathematics to perform research, development, testing, launching and for the manufacture of various air vehicles. The area of study mainly revolves around aerodynamics, thermodynamics, celestial mechanics, control systems, propulsion and electronics. These different fields of study is put together to form the basis of Aeronautical Engineering.
Development of new technology in the field of aviation, space exploration and defence systems also fall under this discipline. The job profile has to cater manual, technical as well as mechanical aptitude for it involves design and manufacture of very high technology systems. An aeronautical engineer needs to be physically fit and should have a high level of mathematical precision to be successful. The specializations also includes areas like structural design, navigational guidance and control systems, instrumentation and communication or production methods or it can be in a particular product such as military aircrafts, passenger planes, helicopters, satellites, rockets etc.The main thrust in this area is on design and development of aircrafts to space and satellite research.
The aerospace industry is very dynamic and offers a range of career development opportunities. The aviation industry is progressing into a wide variety of specialist engineering roles where there is the option of moving into related areas, such as project management, procurement and planning, teaching or consultancy. Aerospace environment is sophisticated with rewarding career opportunities involving leading-edge technology. Even the government or aviation regulatory bodies offer numerous job profiles related to its field. Having trained as an aeronautical engineer, you may move into more specific areas such as aerodynamics, aeronautics, aviations systems engineering or fluid dynamics. Some pilots originally trained as aeronautical engineers.
Aeronautical Engineers work with one of the most technologically advanced branches of engineering. The main thrust in this area is on design and development of aircrafts to space and satellite research. Several aircraft manufacturers hire aeronautical engineers for entry level openings as well as senior positions. Engineers may work in areas like design, development, and maintenance as well as in the managerial and teaching posts in institutes. They find a very good demand in airlines, aircraft manufacturing units, air turbine production plants or as design development programmers for the aviation industry.
Aeronautical engineers are often involved in highly innovative new concepts, which make it essential for them to continuously develop themselves personally and professionally. The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAES) provides conferences, training courses and specialist groups to enable continuous professional development within the sector. Apart from these, one can also look out for job opportunities in administration, traffic regulation, cargo management, ground operations, aircraft maintenance and other areas related to this field.
Born in the state of Minas Gerais on July 20, 1873, Alberto Santos Dumont was raised on his family's coffee plantation in São Paulo state. His father was mechanically inclined, adopting mechanical labor saving devices on the plantation, and from him, the young Alberto learned a fascination with motors and engineering. From the books of Jules Verne, and the sunny skies of Brazil, he dreamed of flight. Following an accident which disabled his father, the family moved to Paris. There, at seventeen, wealthy and scientifically minded, Alberto pursued the study of physics, chemistry, mechanics and electricity to achieve his dream of flying.
In 1898, Alberto had his first flight in a balloon he named Bresil. From then until 1905 he built and flew 11 dirigibles, and in 1905, designed a helicopter. During this time, he was becoming famous in Europe and acquiring friendships among the nobility and aristocracy. When he visited the United States in 1904, he met President Theodore Roosevelt at the White House where Roosevelt was interested in flying machines as weapons of war,
He returned to Europe to work with his gasoline-powered engines in his dirigibles, and on October 22, 1906, finally succeeded in flying a heavier-than-air machine, a flight of about 60 meters at a height of 2 to 3 meters. He flew his '14-bis' without artificial means to lift off. On November 12, having added ailerons on the wings, he made four more flights, the longest being of 220 meters at a height of one meter and lasting 21 seconds. His success was widely publicized, and he was internationally acclaimed as the first man to have achieved powered flight. Earlier, in 1901, he had won the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize of 100,000 francs, and a prize from the Brazilian government, for flying his dirigible number six from the Park Saint Cloud to the Eiffel Tower and back under thirty minutes. In 1909, he produced his "Demoiselle" or "Grasshopper" monoplane, the precursor to the modern light plane.
It was with some chagrin that Santos Dumont learned that the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk and at Dayton in the USA claimed to be the first to fly a heavier than air machine. He cited the difference between the hordes of photographers and photographs documenting each of his flights to the lack of documentation for the Wright Brothers, until 1908. After years of discussion, he accepted that he was the first in Europe, the Wrights the first in the Americas. To the Brazilians, however, he remains the Father of Aviation.
Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. He was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, in the USA on 5 August 1930. From a very early age he knew that he wanted to have a career in aviation. He became a licensed pilot in 1946 (on his 16th birthday), and in 1947 he became a naval air cadet.
After studying aeronautical engineering, Armstrong served in the Korean War where he flew 78 combat missions, and in 1955 he became a civilian research pilot for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, later known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He received a Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue University in 1955, and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California.
Armstrong became a research test pilot for NASA in 1955, and was allocate to the prestigious X-15 programme. He flew this aircraft to the limits of space at an altitude of over 200,000 feet (63,198 metres/207,500 feet), and 4000 miles per hour. In 1962, he was chosen for NASA's space programme as the first U.S. astronaut serving as backup pilot on the Gemini V flight, and as Command Pilot on the 1966 Gemini VIII flight, which performed the first successful docking of two spacecraft. He and David Scott docked with an unmanned Agena rocket, thereby completing the first manual space-docking manoeuvre.
On 16 July 1969, Armstrong, accompanied by Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins, they blasted off on the Apollo XI for the first manned lunar landing mission on the moon. On 20 July, the "Eagle" lunar landing module, with Armstrong and Aldrin aboard, separated from the command module and, guided manually by Armstrong, successfully touched down on the lunar surface in the Mare Tranquillitatis, or Sea of Tranquillity. Armstrong resigned from NASA in 1971, and became professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University Of Cincinnati, Ohio until 1979. In 1986 he was appointed vice chairman of the presidential commission, which investigated the explosion of the Challenger.
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