aerospace engineering

aerospace engineering

Field concerned with the development, design, construction, testing, and operation of airplanes and spacecraft. The field has its roots in balloon flight, gliders, and airships, and in the 1960s it was broadened to include space vehicles. Principal technologies are those of aerodynamics, propulsion, structure and stability, and control. Aerospace engineers in academic, industrial, and government research centres cooperate in designing new products. Flight testing of prototypes follows, and finally quantity production and operation take place. Important developments in aerospace engineering include the metal monocoque fuselage, the cantilevered monoplane wing, the jet engine, supersonic flight, and spaceflight.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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