Aviation Engineering Projects

Aviation Engineering Projects thumbnail
Airplanes dramatically increase the speed of international travel.

The modern airplane is one of engineering's greatest accomplishments. Humans dreamed of flying for centuries before the Wright brothers actually made it happen. The date of the first successful manned flight is considered a major historical milestone. Today aviation engineering continues to shape the way people travel the world. Some projects in aviation engineering involve work with simulators, while others aid in the design and implementation of actual technologies.

  1. Design

    • Aviation engineers are responsible for certain aspects of airplane and helicopter design. Aircraft are very complex machines, so engineers with different specialties work on different components. Aviation engineers are responsible for making sure the machine's design is aerodynamic and compact. A design project in aviation engineering develops the specifications for an aircraft component so as to guarantee it handles properly in mid-air. For example, you could develop a new type of propeller for a helicopter. The challenge in this project would be to find the right number of blades and dimensions for blades to maximize aerodynamics.


    • Flight simulation video games are frequently used to teach students in flight school. For students with experience in programming and computer engineering one potential project involves developing a physics engine for a flight simulator. In this project, students use programming language to develop a realistic model of aerodynamics. The main physical challenge in this project is creating mathematical rules that model flight; such rules are derived from physics principles.


    • Flight safety is all about ensuring airplanes are as safe and secure as possible. For aviation engineers, flight safety is about designing engines that won't stall, propellers that won't jam, and a fuselage that won't fall apart. Safety projects may deal with any one of these concerns. For example, a project on fuselage investigates which type of metal is best able to withstand the physical pressures of high altitude flight. This project might proceed by using a pressure simulator to test the effect of pressure on various materials.


    • Radar is used to detect aircraft from a distance. Projects in radar may involve designing radar technology or designing aircraft that can evade detection by radar. A project in radar design, for example, can use physics to create a radar to detect low-flying aircraft. One major issue for the Air Force is the fact that many airplanes can avoid radar detection by flying low. A machine using sonic detection to locate low-flying aircraft, is one possible solution to that problem.

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