Aerospace engineering

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Aerospace engineering is the branch of engineering dealing with aircraft and spacecraft. It is often also referred to as aeronautical engineering, particularly when dealing solely with aircraft. Some of the elements of aerospace engineering are:

The basis of most of these elements lies in theoretical mathematics, such as fluid mechanics for aerodynamics or the equations of motion for flight dynamics. However, there is also a large empirical component. Historically, this empirical component was derived from testing of scale models and prototypes, either in wind tunnels or in the free atmosphere. More recently, advances in computer technology have enabled the use of computational fluid dynamics to simulate the behavior of a vehicle, reducing time and expense.

Notable figures in aerospace engineering:

Orville Wright
Wilbur Wright
Ernst Mach
Osborne Reynolds
Ludwig Prandtl
Richard Whitcomb
Glenn Curtiss
Robert Goddard