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Aeronautical engineers, or aerospace engineers, research and develop civil and military aircraft and related aviation technology. Their work covers anything to do with fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, space vehicles, weapons and missiles, flight simulators and aircraft instruments. Ultimately, the aim of aeronautical engineers is to make air travel safer, cheaper and cleaner.
Aeronautical engineers will work in all aspects of aircraft development, which can be divided into the following three sections:
Duties vary depending on which area engineers specialise in, but work is usually geared towards improving flight safety, fuel efficiency, speed and weight, whilst trying to reduce system costs and meeting customer demand. General tasks might include the following:
It is a highly skilled role and requires confidence in using technology and machinery, as well as being able to conduct sound research and testing of products. Aeronautical engineers may require skills in certain design software such as CAD. With the constant development of technology, aeronautical engineers are likely to require frequent training, attending conferences or workshops around the country and abroad.
The UK aerospace industry is well respected offering many skilled jobs for a variety of employers such as airlines, aerospace companies, The Armed Forces and research and development organisations.