Aeronautical engineering deals with the development, construction, fitting and operation of aircraft, in particular aeroplanes and helicopters, and their constituent components: cell (fuselage, wings/airfoils/aerofoils, tail planes, aileron/rudder), power plant, equipment.
Space engineering studies the development, construction, and operation of space transport systems (rockets) and aerodynes (e.g. satellites) adapted to the special conditions prevailing in space (vacuum, weightlessness, extreme temperature differences, high-energy radiation, extreme space and weight exploitation/efficiency).
Both fields seek to design systems that are as light as possible and extremely reliable.
Graduates of aeronautical and aerospace programmes will largely find employment opportunities in aircraft manufacturing corporations. Jobs are also above all available in supplier industries involving fields such as electrical engineering, steel and aluminium engineering as well as non-ferrous metal engineering. Employment opportunities will also be found in airline companies, at airports, higher education institutions and other research facilities as well as in the civil service.
Lectures, exercises and practical courses, covering largely the same fields as mechanical engineering (see Mechanical engineering), plus some initial specialist courses.
Special aerospace engineering subjects, like fluid dynamics and flight mechanics, vehicle and power plant engineering, instrument and control engineering, aircraft electronics etc. Core study options (differing greatly from one institution to the next) include technical design of the aircraft cell and structure, aerospace power plants and propulsion systems, flight direction engineering, flight operations, air traffic, astronautics.
Depending on the school/vocational qualifications, students are required to complete a pre-study internship of several weeks, for example in metal, mechanical or electrical engineering. Practical phases of varying length completed during the studies.
Base modules deliver the scientific, technical and mathematical principles: mathematics, projective geometry, physics, engineering mechanics, thermodynamics, electrical engineering and electronics, metrology, etc., complemented by applied modules, like aerodynamics, conception and technical design (including Computer Aided Design – CAD), production engineering, flight mechanics, lightweight engineering, power plant engineering, machine dynamics, control engineering, fluid mechanics, materials engineering, finite element methods. Depending on the range of studies offered, specialisation in fields like aircraft engineering, cabins and cabin systems. Occupational field specific key qualifications, such as technical English, presentation techniques, operational and work organisation, cost accounting, management skills.
In some cases, study-integrated flight training may also be completed at a cooperating flight school.