What is Aeronautical Engineering?
Aeronautical engineering deals with the science and technologies needed for flight within the earth’s atmosphere. Aeronautical engineers are involved in the research, design, development, maintenance and testing the performance and safety of aircrafts and missiles. For this purpose they interpret aircraft performance data, supervise the assembly of aircraft and missiles, analyze the environmental impacts of flights, investigate crashes and assess the potential risks of new designs. They also work on the different components that make up these aircraft and missile systems. A course in aeronautical engineering includes study in the areas of aerodynamics, flight vehicle structures, engine design, propulsion, avionics, control systems etc in addition to applied sciences, material science, fundamentals of engineering, manufacturing processes and engineering software development. Since the field of aeronautics has a lot in common with aerospace, aeronautical engineering is also taught as part of aerospace engineering at many colleges and universities.
How to Pursue the Course?
There are national and state level entrance exams for doing bachelors in aeronautical engineering. Some of them are JEE Mains, JEE Advanced, Manipal OET, Amrita Entrance Exam, HITSEE, SRM EE, Karnataka CET among others. But before going for any of these exams, a student is supposed to get a minimum of 50% (or 60% in some cases) in physics, chemistry and math.
There are many colleges in India offering bachelors in Aeronautical Engineering. Some of them are IIT (Mumbai, Kharagpur, Kanpur and Madras); SRM, Chennai; PEC University, Chandigarh; Manipal Institute of Technology; Amrita School of Engineering, Coimbatore; MVJ College of Engineering, Bangalore; and the list goes on.
Aeronautical engineers have always been in demand with the continuous technological advancements in aviation, defence and space industry. India too has made giant leaps in these areas. In addition, it has been fast merging as a business and tourist destination leading to increased air travel to and from India. Economic growth too has resulted in higher domestic air travel. All this is resulting in an increased demand for aeronautical engineers in the design, development, manufacturing and maintenance of aircrafts, missiles, satellites and spacecrafts. Therefore a number of employment opportunities have come up for aeronautical engineers in both- private and public sectors as well as government and defense.
The starting salary of an aeronautical engineer is between 2.5 to 3 lakhs. But with time, as one gains experience the salary may go up to 6 to 7 lakhs. Typically, the multinational companies offer higher salaries to the graduates. In addition, there are a number of employment opportunities for aeronautical engineers abroad as well.