University of Southern California The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering Pre-College Summer Programs - Student Portfolios

Rockets and Gliders Group 1 2012

Aerospace engineering (AE)

Aerospace engineering

is the primary branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction, and science of aircraft and spacecraft


It is divided into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering.

It is also about how fluids flow (think about how air flows around a car), about control systems, and about how strong things are (and how to make them strong). Aerospace engineering also deals with how to design things so that they can be reliably built and maintained. 
Aerospace engineers design, develop, and test aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles, and supervise their manufacture. Those who work with aircraft are called aeronautical engineers, and those working specifically with spacecraft are called astronautical engineers.
Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation, defense systems, and space exploration, often specializing in areas such as structures, propulsion systems, vehicle movement and control, communications, and overall vehicle design.
They also may specialize in a particular type of aerospace product, such as commercial aircraft, military fighter jets, helicopters, spacecraft, or missiles and rockets, and may become experts in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, celestial mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, or guidance and control systems.

The project was to build three different types of aircrafts within one week: a helicopter, an airplane and a rocket.

That required basic knowledge of the forces acting upon aircrafts. Those forces are: Force of Thrust, Force of Drag, Force of Lift and force of Weight.