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Aviation Studies

Overview: Aeronautics, Aviation, and Aerospace Science

Aviation or air transport are the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as balloons and airships.


Aviation began in the 18th century with the development of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through buoyancy. Some of the most significant advancements in aviation technology came with the controlled gliding flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; then a large step in significance came with the construction of the first powered airplane by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Since that time, aviation has been technologically revolutionized by the introduction of the jet which permitted a major form of transport throughout the world.


There are early legends of human flight such as the stories of Icarus in Greek myth, Jamshid and Shah Kay Kāvus in Persian myth,[3] and the flying automaton of Archytas of Tarentum (428–347 BC).[4] Later, somewhat more credible claims of short-distance human flights appear, such as the winged flights of Abbas ibn Firnas (810–887), Eilmer ofMalmesbury (11th century), and the hot-air Passarola of Bartholomeu Lourenço de Gusmão (1685–1724).

Inside Aeronautics, Aviation and Aerospace Science

The fields of aeronautics, aviation and aerospace science encompass designing, building, maintaining and testing all kinds of aircraft and spacecraft, from small planes to rockets and orbiters. Professionals in these fields have often been trained in aviation technology, aerospace systems engineering, aerospace physics, navigation systems, space flight operations and aircraft performance. They are also familiar with aviation management and safety guidelines.

Education Information

Working in the fields of aeronautics, aviation and aerospace science requires at least a bachelor's degree and can often require a master's or doctorate degree. Some master's degree programs in aviation and aerospace science offer specialization areas in air traffic control, aviation safety, aviation management and aerospace operations, to name a few. Here is more information about each field of study.

School Options

Schools that offer degree programs in aviation, aeronautics and aerospace can be found all over the U.S. Here are links to a few articles offering more details.......

Career Options

In 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that aerospace engineers earned a median salary of $103,870 annually. Additionally, employment of aerospace engineers was predicted to rise at a slower-than-average pace from 2012-2022, specifically 7 percent throughout the span of the decade (www.bls.gov).

Sources: www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation

Air Transport

There are five major manufacturers of civil transport aircraft (in alphabetical order):

  • Airbus, based in Europe
  • Boeing, based in the United States
  • Bombardier, based in Canada
  • Embraer, based in Brazil
  • United Aircraft Corporation, based in Russia