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Aeronautical engineering is an engineering branch that involves designing, producing and maintaining aircraft. Aeronautical engineers are employed by national companies including Boeing, General Electric, Lockheed Martin and Cessna, and government agencies including NASA.
Aeronautical engineering tasks encompass a variety of careers including wind tunnel testing, engine design, aircraft design, spacecraft design and airliner comfort systems design. This specialized field also is heavily involved in developing military aircraft including fighter planes, helicopters, rockets and missiles.
Technological instruments utilized by aeronautical engineers include robotics, computer-aided drafting (CAD) software and electronic and laser optics. Technology-based areas that aeronautical engineers work in include aircraft guidance, navigation and control systems.
Education and Salary
According to U.S. News & World Report, the top aeronautical engineering schools in the U.S. are Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy and California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. As of 2010, aeronautical engineering annual salaries range from $57,356 to $87,050.