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The Bachelor of Science degree program in aeronautical engineering focuses on the analysis, design, development, modification, manufacture, and implementation of flight vehicles. The Aeronautical Engineering curriculum contains a five-semester design sequence emphasizing hands-on design projects that requires students to work in teams. Students apply the theories they are learning in the classroom to the solution of open-ended problems. Commitment and responsibility to the design team are required and continually emphasized.
The design sequence also provides students with systems integration exercises that incorporate components, such as vision systems, sensors, controls, and the software that ties them together. Examples of potential project work may include unmanned flight applications, which could include aerospace, geographic and topographic exploration, and atmospheric research and security. Past and potential ongoing projects may include the creation and testing of custom wings such as tubercle and dragonfly wings, aerial filming platform design, and participation in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Design Build and Fly Competition (DBF).
One of the highlights of the Aeronautical Engineering program occurs during the junior and senior years in the three-semester sequences of courses: Aerodynamics, Flight Dynamics I (Performance) and Flight Dynamics II (Stability and Control). Students develop test plans and perform in-flight experiments using a DWC-owned Cessna 172 equipped with a Calspan Miniature Flight Data Recording System (MFDRS). This system is used to record twenty-eight different parameters at the sample rate of two hundred times per second. These parameters include the six components of rectilinear and rotational acceleration, aileron, elevator, and rudder positions, calibrated airspeed, static and dynamic pressure. Once collected, the students analyze the data for comparison with theoretical predictions and published aircraft data.
The Aeronautical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.
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