United States Air Force Academy

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Breaking Barriers

AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING

In the aeronautical engineering major, Cadets study aerodynamics, propulsion, flight mechanics, stability and control, aircraft structures, materials and experimental methods. As part of their senior year capstone, Cadets select either of the two-course design sequences, aircraft design or aircraft engine design. A design-build-fly approach enables cadets and professors to dive deep into the aeronautics disciplines while providing a hands on learning experience. Cadets will work on real-world design problems in our cutting-edge aeronautics laboratory, featuring several wind tunnels and jet engines. Many opportunities exist for cadets to participate in summer research at various universities and companies across the country. The rigors of the aeronautical engineering major prepare Cadets to pursue successful engineering and acquisition careers in the Air Force.

POTENTIAL JOB ASSIGNMENTS
Within the Air Force
  • 11X – Pilot
  • 11EX – Experimental Test Pilot
  • 18X – RPA Pilot
  • 21A/M – Aircraft/Munitions Maintenance
  • 61A – Operations Research Scientist
  • 62E – Acquisitions, Developmental Engineer
  • 62EXF – Flight Test Engineer
  • 63A – Acquisitions, Program Manager
Perform duties at
  • Special Programs Office
  • Test & Evaluation
  • Research & Development
  • USAFA Instructor
Outside the Air Force
  • Aeronautical Engineer
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Research Scientist
  • Program Manager
  • Program Engineer
  • Aircraft Maintainer
  • Pilot

SAMPLE COURSES
  • Aircraft Dynamic Stability and Control
  • Flight Test Techniques
  • Aircraft Feedback Control Systems
  • Aircraft Engine Design
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Computational Aerodynamics
  • Advanced Aerodynamics
SUGGESTED COURSE SEQUENCE
4th CLASS YEAR (FRESHMAN) 3RD CLASS YEAR (SOPHOMORE) 2ND CLASS YEAR (JUNIOR) 1ST CLASS YEAR (SENIOR)
Beh Sci 110 Aero Engr 210/315 Aero Engr 341 Aero Design Option
Chem 100 Aero Engr 241 Aero Engr 342 Aero Elective
Com Sci 110 Chem 200 Aero Engr 351 Aero Eng 436
English 111 Econ 201 Aero Engr 352 Aero Engr 442
For Lang 1 Engr Mech 220 Aero Engr 361 Aero Engr 471
For Lang 2 Engr Mech 330 ECE 315 Astro Engr 481
History 100 MSS 251 English 211 Aero Engr 310
Math 141 Math 243 Engr Mech 350 Philos 310
Math 142 Math 245 Math 346 History 300
Physics 110 Physics 215 Math 356 Soc Sci 311
  Comp Sci 206x Pol Sci 211 Adv. Socio-Cultural Option
    Law 220  

For full program requirements and course descriptions, download the current Curriculum Handbook.

ACCREDITATION INFORMATION

The Aeronautical Engineering degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

To ensure the success of our graduates, we prepare them to achieve the following Program Educational Objectives within two to five years after graduation:

  • Recognition as successful Air Force officers through demonstration of their ability to:
    • Rapidly acquire required knowledge
    • Lead others effectively
    • Apply ethical and moral standards
    • Improve unit performance by application of organizational skills
    • Make sound decisions based on critical thinking
    • Communicate effectively
  • Selection for career training on, or ahead of, schedule, and for a progression of assignments of increasing responsibility
  • Demonstrated ability to solve Air Force technical problems
  • Success in continuing education

These objectives are assessed through Student Outcomes—the skills, knowledge and behaviors students should acquire before graduation. The outcomes for this program are:

  • Identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  • Apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  • Communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  • Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  • Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  • Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
CONTACT US

Major Garrison Lindholm
Assistant Professor and DFAN Executive Officer
garrison.lindholm@usafa.edu
(719) 333-9200

Lieutenant Colonel Barrett McCann
Department Head of Aeronautics
barrett.mccann@usafa.edu
(719) 333-4010

WANT TO STUDY AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING?