What is Aerospace Engineering? | Q & A

Question location: Q & A home » Subjects » Aerospace Engineering
Simple Engineer
I want Definition.

Scope of field and brief history.

Nisar Kasai
Nisar Kasai May 2

Definition & Scope:

Aerospace engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, development, testing, and production of aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and other aerospace systems. It encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, materials, avionics, and systems engineering.

Aerospace engineers work on various projects, including the design and development of commercial and military aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), satellites, space launch vehicles, and spacecraft for exploration and scientific research.

Key areas of focus in aerospace engineering include:

  • Aerodynamics: Study of the flow of air and other gases around objects in motion.
  • Propulsion: Design and development of engines and propulsion systems for aircraft and spacecraft.
  • Structures: Design and analysis of aircraft and spacecraft structures to withstand aerodynamic and gravitational loads.
  • Avionics: Design and integration of electronic systems for navigation, communication, and control.
  • Systems Engineering: Integration of subsystems and components to create functional aerospace systems.

Aerospace engineering plays a crucial role in various industries, including commercial aviation, defense, space exploration, and satellite communications. It is essential for the development of new technologies and capabilities for air and space travel, as well as for addressing global challenges such as climate change, air transportation efficiency, and space exploration.


  1. Early Aviation:

    • The history of aerospace engineering can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the development of powered flight.
    • The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered aircraft in 1903, marking the beginning of modern aviation.
  2. World War I and II:

    • During World War I and World War II, significant advancements were made in aircraft technology, including the development of military aircraft such as fighter planes, bombers, and reconnaissance aircraft.
    • These advancements laid the foundation for the modern aerospace industry and the field of aerospace engineering.
  3. The Space Age:

    • The Space Age began in the mid-20th century with the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, by the Soviet Union in 1957.
    • The United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a "space race," with milestones such as the first human spaceflight (Yuri Gagarin in 1961) and the first manned moon landing (Apollo 11 in 1969).
  4. Modern Aerospace Industry:

    • In the second half of the 20th century, the aerospace industry expanded rapidly with the development of commercial aviation, military aircraft, and space exploration.
    • Aerospace engineering became a distinct discipline, encompassing a wide range of fields including aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, materials, avionics, and systems engineering.
  5. Recent Developments:

    • In recent years, aerospace engineering has continued to evolve rapidly with advancements in technology, materials, and systems engineering.
    • Key developments include the design and production of advanced aircraft such as supersonic and hypersonic aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), and reusable space launch vehicles.