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Engineering Division

AERONAUTICS

Supports cadets, the Air Force and the world through studies in aerodynamics, flight mechanics, propulsion, aircraft structures and experimental methods.

ABOUT US

Since its inception, the U.S. Air Force Academy has been a major contributor to technological developments and the security of the United States through aerospace studies. More than 60 years later, the Department of Aeronautics continues to support cadets, the Air Force and the world through a variety of studies in aerodynamics, flight mechanics, propulsion, aircraft structures and experimental methods. Cadets interested in Aeronautical Engineering have two course design sequences to choose from—aircraft design or aircraft engine design.

Our program is the best in the country as the #1 Aeronautical / Astronautical program on the 2017 U.S. News Best Colleges list.

Aeronautics Faculty and Staff

MAJORS & MINORS


Aeronautical Engineering

Systems Engineering – Aeronautics Depth

The Aeronautical Engineering and Systems Engineering majors are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org/accreditation/accreditation-criteria/criteria-for-accrediting-engineering-programs-2019-2020/#GC3 .

Department News News From Around The Department


January 31, 2019

Academy professor leads new DOD hypersonic research institute

(U.S. Air Force photo/Joshua Armstrong)  By Jennifer Spradlin, Jan. 31, 2019 U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Chuck Yeager broke the speed of sound in 1947, and the Air Force has never looked back. The Air Force partnered with NASA to develop and test the X-15, a hypersonic , rocket-powered aircraft in the late 1950s and most of the 1960s. A great deal of human capital and money was invested in making the leap from supersonic to hypersonic -- the potential to travel at five times the speed of sound or more than 3,000 mph. But a series of near misses...

Continue Reading Academy professor leads new DOD hypersonic research institute

December 12, 2018

Air Force Academy Research: Cadets have role in creating DoD’s 1st large stealth target drone

(U.S. Air Force photo by Jonathan Snyder)  By Ray Bowden, Dec. 12, 2018 U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. --  Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy are working with aerospace instructors and industry partners to develop the Defense Department’s first large stealth target drone to test missile tracking systems. “As far as we know, this is the first large stealth target drone,” said Thomas McLaughlin, the Academy’s Aeronautic Research Center director. McLaughlin said the project is the DoD’s first aircraft development with significant contributions by cadets at a service academy. “It has had cadet involvement in its evolution over several years,”...

Continue Reading Air Force Academy Research: Cadets have role in creating DoD’s 1st large stealth target drone

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CENTER FOR UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

The Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) focuses on adding autonomy to UAS to allow one operator to control multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that can autonomously search, find, identify and track various targets. UAS serves as an excellent platform for cadets across various disciplines to conduct meaningful research supporting the warfighter. The electromagnetics group performs research across a diverse area of topics from meta materials to over-the-horizon radar.

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HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING RESEARCH CENTER

The High Performance Computing Research Center provides access to high performance computing resources (local and remote), high speed network access to those resources, and the expertise to use them efficiently.
These resources are available to all faculty, staff and cadets, regardless of academic department or discipline. As part of the Department of Aeronautics, HPCRC researchers assist aeronautical engineering majors to conduct research in computational modeling of aerodynamics and high-speed gas dynamics.

  • Core Competencies
    • Access to DoD supercomputing resources
    • High-speed network access and local storage systems
    • Partnerships with local universities for HPC research
    • Expertise in Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Major Projects
    • Computational aerodynamic modeling of full-aircraft for Air Force and DoD
    • Reduced-order modeling for stability and control characteristics for NATO air vehicles
    • Computational modeling of the USAFA Mach 6 Ludwieg Tube and hypersonic vehicles
    • Efficient use of next-generation, highly parallel computers

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HQ USAFA/DFAN
2354 Fairchild Drive, Suite 6H-101
United States Air Force Academy, CO 80840
(719) 333-4010 | DSN 333-4010
(719) 333-4013 | DSN 333-4013