Basic Aeronautics in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering is the principal field of engineering concerned with the development of aircraft and spacecraft. It was divided into two main major and overlap branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering.

Basic Aeronautics in the  Aerospace Engineering is the study of the discipline of flight.

  • The science relating to effects produced by air or other fluids.
  • The terminology of  aeronautics comes from the Greek words aero meaning air and dynamics meaning power.
  • Ancients described air as it having the properties of moisture and heat.

The Principles of Basic Aeronautics

  1. Theory of Flight.
  2. Airfoils and Flight.
  3. Effects of the Relative Wind.
  4. Effects of the Angle of Attack.

Theory of Flight in Aeronautics

  • Aerodynamics

A lifting force is required for heavier-than-air flying. Any object can be forced upward by applying the human power, an explosion, a hoist, or other means of force. It cannot stay aloft without lesser the fluid pressure from the above and increasing lift pressure from below. Increasing the speed of the object can increase the flow of air.

theory of flight


  • Aerodynamics: Bernoulli Principle

” As the velocity of air increases, Then the pressure decreases; if velocity decreases, Then the pressure increases.”

A major part of the understanding base need in the designing and development of the aircraft. Contributed to the work of G.B. Venturi, an Italian scientist, He noted the effects of channels on the fluid flows. A round tube, such as a nozzle or jet engine, designed to enhance the velocity of flowing gases and other fluids is called a venturi.

  • Aerodynamics: Aristotle

The first useful studies of motion are attributed to  the Aristotle.  He was believed that there are two types of motion: natural and violent. Natural motions were those occurring without the help of human effort such as  rotation of Sun and Moon.

He was concluded, and later stated as a real law, that the velocity or speed of an object depends entirely on force which is being applied to it and resistance meets.  This law later proven to be incorrect.

  • Aerodynamics: Galileo Galilee

He observed that an object in the horizontal motion would  be continue to travel at same speed with no additional force. This verity was accepted by the Sir Isaac Newton and he became the first of three laws of motion stated by Newton.

Airfoils and The Flight

  • Airfoil Design

An airfoil has designed to produce the  lift. It has a leading edge, a trailing edge, a chord, and camber.


Relative Wind

It defines that, movement of the aircraft through the fluid creates the relative wind; thus the flight path and the relative wind are parallel, but it acts in the opposite directions. The term relative wind means the wind that is moving to past the airfoil and direction of wind is parallel to the flight path and relative to the attitude of location of the airfoil.

The pilot can controls the direction of the relative wind and the speed of the airfoil through the air.

relative wind

Angle of Attack

The angle of attack is formed by the chord of the airfoil and the direction of the relative wind and/or between the chord line and the path of the flight. It is not constant during a flight.  It will changes] as the pilot changing the attitude of aircraft.

This is one of the factors that determines the aircraft’s rate of speed through the air.

angle of attack

Thus, these four principles of basic aeronautics plays a major role in aerospace engineering.


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Hello, I am an aircraft structural analyst with industrial experience and a master degree on aerospace structures. Currently working for an aerospace company as a stress
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