United States Air Force Academy

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Engineering Division


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


Since its inception, the United States 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.


Aeronautical Engineering

Systems Engineering – Aeronautics Depth

The Aeronautical Engineering and Systems Engineering majors are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Department News News From Around The Department

May 5, 2017

From ‘dorm to swarm’: Academy cadets compete in UAS competition

By Ray Bowden/May 5, 2017 U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy took second place to the Naval Academy at the DARPA-sponsored unmanned aerial systems Swarm Competition, April 23-25 at Camp Roberts, California. Cadets and midshipmen from the Air Force Academy, the Military Academy, and the Naval Academy, battled each other using 20 fixed-wing and 20 quad-rotor small unmanned aerial vehicles to protect a target or “flag” on the ground during two 30-minute battles. “Air Force was ahead until the final few minutes but was barely edged-out by Navy,” said Del Christman, an assistant computer science professor at...

Continue Reading From ‘dorm to swarm’: Academy cadets compete in UAS competition

April 18, 2017

Academy grad arrives at International Space station April 20

  By John Van Winkle/April 17, 2017 An Air Force Academy graduate traveled to the International Space Station April 20 to conduct research NASA hopes will eventually lead to a mission to Mars. Astronaut Col. Jack Fischer made the six-hour flight to the station, more than 200 miles above the Earth, with cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, Russia’s State Corporation for Space Activities, aboard the Russian-made Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft. Lift-off was just after 1 a.m. (MT), from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan, the world's first and largest operational space-launch facility. When Fischer and Yurkchikin reached the station, they joined the astronauts...

Continue Reading Academy grad arrives at International Space station April 20

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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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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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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