Flight engineers are pilots who maintain flight systems; they perform tests to ensure that flight systems work correctly while also making necessary repairs. Flight engineering courses usually culminate in a bachelor's degree in aerospace or flight engineering, but master's and doctoral degrees are also available. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the minimum age to take flight engineering courses is 19 years.
Here are some major concepts you'll learn while studying flight engineering:
- Plane inspection techniques
- FAA regulations
- Aerodynamic theory
- Fluid dynamics
- Flight control system
List of Flight Engineering Classes
Introductory Flight Engineering Course
A flight engineering introductory course teaches students how to perform pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight inspections. Students also learn how to compute aircraft weight and performance and use data from the flight. Additional instruction in a flight engineering fundamentals course may include flight theory and personal equipment and oxygen use. Students interpret schematics, diagrams, performance charts, loading charts and flight manuals. Aircraft electrical, navigation, communication, mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems may be explored.
Flight Control Systems Course
Students are introduced to various flight control systems, including guidance systems, frequency responses, stability methods and aerospace system sensors. Static stability, maneuverability and safety procedures aboard aircraft and spacecraft vehicles are also studied. Students may look at the design side of flight control systems and examine design standards.
Aviation Meteorology Course
An aviation meteorology class introduces students to meteorology issues that are related to aviation. Students learn about basic weather concepts, flight planning during weather hazards and forecasting analysis. Focus is generally placed on maximizing flight performance during inclement weather and understanding atmospheric patterns, weather systems and environmental factors that affect flight. Before enrolling in an aviation meteorology course, students may need to take statistics or introductory aerospace and flight engineering courses.
Fluid Mechanics Course
The course in fluid mechanics introduces students to conservation equations and laws relating to mass, energy and momentum. Students also learn about heat transfer and the Navier-Stokes and Bernoulli equations. Instruction may also include turbulent flow, compressible flow, free and forced convection, heat conduction and friction factors as applied to aircraft vehicles. The physical properties of fluids are introduced, as well as their viscous effects.
Engineering Aerodynamics Course
Students in an engineering aerodynamics course learn about the relationship between air flow around the wings and body of aircraft. Different theories, such as the slender-body or thin-wing, may be examined. Studies also include dynamics of drag, viscous flow, incompressible and compressible flow, and flow visualization. Students take this class after completing advanced math classes.