Airlines rely on flight engineers for the maintenance of flight systems to ensure their proper functioning and conduct repairs when needed. In this article, we will look at the flight engineering programs offered by schools in the United States.
Most colleges usually offer bachelor degree programs in flight engineering or aerospace engineering, but there are some master and doctorate programs at specific schools. Students who pursue a flight engineering program have to be at least nineteen years old (source: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)).
Introductory Flight Engineering Program
There are introductory courses in flight engineering; students learn about performing inspections, before, during and after a flight. They are also taught about the computation of aircraft weight as well as performance and the use of flight data. Coursework also includes subject areas such as oxygen and personal equipment use, and flight theory. Interpretation of flight manuals, loading charts, performance charts, diagrams and schematics are performed by students; they are also taught about hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, communication, navigation, and electrical systems used in aircraft.
Engineering Aerodynamics Program
In this course, students are taught about the relationship between air flow around the body and wings of aircraft. Various theories, such as the thin-wing or slender-body are studied. Coursework also includes flow visualization, compressible and incompressible flow, viscous flow and dynamics of drag. Students enrolling in this program are required to complete advanced math classes before seeking admission.
Fluid Mechanics Program
In this program, students are introduced to laws relating to momentum, energy and mass, as well as conservation equations. Students are also taught about heat transfer and the Bernoulli and Navier-Stokes equations. Coursework include friction factors, heat conduction, free and forced convection, compressible flow, and turbulent flow as applicable to aircraft vehicles. Students are also introduced to the physical properties of fluids and their viscous effects.
Aviation Meteorology Program
In this program, Students are introduced to meteorology issues associated with aviation. Students are also taught about forecasting analysis and flight planning during weather hazards among other basic weather concepts. Coursework focuses on teaching students how to maximize flight performance when the weather is inclement. To this end, students learn about weather systems and atmospheric patterns, and any environmental factor that could affect a flight. Before they seek admission to this program, Students will benefit by taking a course in statistics or basic flight engineering and aerospace course.
Flight Control Systems Program
In this program, trainers introduce students to aerospace system sensors, stability methods, frequency responses, guidance systems and various other flight control systems. Students also study safety procedures, maneuverability and static stability aboard spacecraft vehicles and aircraft. There is some emphasis on the design aspects of flight control systems, including design standards.