Expanded Definition of Aerospace and Aeronautical

To: Prof. Ellis
From: Edwin Ascencio
Date: 10/27/ 21
Subject: Expanded Definition of Aerospace and AeronauticaL


The purpose of this memo is to expand and elaborate the two terms Aerospace and Aeronautical and how these terms play a major role in the Aviation field. Aircrafts are what allows use to travel to different countries, island, and continents. These terms are what allowed society to research and develop our modern aircrafts. Aviation has come a long way since it was explored by the Wright brothers and eventually it was divided into two more in-depth fields. These field allowed engineers to explore new possible heights and reach places we were not able to reach before. With Aerospace and Aeronautical we were able to make the journey to travel to space and this allowed us to advance our knowledge of science. I will discuss the origins of the two terms and the importance of the term. The resources I will be unitizing are credible dictionaries and research paper created by people who have studied in the Aviation field. After gathering all the required information, I will sort the information into four categories: Definition/Etymology, Context, and Working Definition. All reference will be included towards the end.


The aviation field could be divided into many professions but without Aerospace and Aeronautical we would not have aircraft we have today. As an aircraft mechanic I can see aircrafts that have unique designs. The uniqueness comes from Aerospace and how manufactures designed the aircraft to perform certain tasks. From my understanding Aerospace is an industry that designs and manufacture unique airplanes. Some aircrafts that the industry designs are not limited to aircraft that allows us to travel to different regions around the world, they also design aircraft that can cruise between the boundary of Earth and Space. According to Dictionary, it says, “the industry concerned with the design and manufacture of aircraft, rockets, spacecraft., that operate in atmosphere”.[3] The given definition gives use an understanding on what aerospace focus on. As I mention before aerospace is not limited by aircraft that allows us to travel to different regions, aerospace allows us to travel to different atmosphere and space. According to Merriam-Webster, aerospace is “the manufacture of such vehicles or to travel in aerospace”.[4] The secondary definition correlates to the first definitions and shows that aircrafts travel could also travel outside the boundaries of Earth or within the Earth.

Another term that corresponds with Aviation is Aeronautical. According to Merriam-Webster, Aeronautical is “a science dealing with the operation of aircraft”.[2] There are several forces and principles that factor in when an aircraft or rocket is flying. These considerations are implemented via aerospace because aerospace oversees designing aircraft that will consider the several factors and principle. Both aerospace and aeronautical play a major role by producing aircraft that can perform certain action. Another definition from Collins is that aeronautical “means involving or relating to the design and construction of airplanes”. [5] Both definition gives a similar definition as they both relate to creating an aircraft that can perform certain task and focus on the operation of the aircraft.


When comparing the two definitions for Aerospace we can see that both definitions share a common statement and that is the word manufacture. Aerospace creates different aircraft that can travel to different location or factor forces. The first definition states that an industry designs and manufacture aircrafts to perform in different circumstances. The second definition states it manufactures vehicles to travel in aerospace. Each definition refers to the term, design and manufacture. Aircraft could vary from an RC Drone to a Rocket ship. Today we have aircraft that allows use to travel long distance but in short altitude (helicopter), we have aircraft that allows us to travel overseas (commercial aircrafts), and we have aircraft that allow use to explore space (rockets). These are some examples of what the industry have demanded us to create, aircraft with unique design and performance.

With Aeronautical both definition talk about the operation of aircraft. When creating aircraft engineers ask, “what should this aircraft do?”. This question is what gave use a variety on aircraft. One variety that was made was the SR-71. It was an aircraft capable of traveling 200mph and travel around between the boundaries of Earth and Space. The aircraft was made of special material and deicing system to prevent the aircraft from freezing at high altitude. With Aerospace designing the aircraft, careful consideration was inserted and eventually created the SR-71. Aeronautical studied the science of high altitude and aerospace designed an aircraft to combat the forces existing at high altitude.

Working Definitions

Currently NASP (National Aero Space Plane) has created a aircraft, the X-30and that aircraft could achieve speeds of Mach 25 which is faster than regular aircraft. NASP uses a combination of both aerospace and aeronautical to create the XC-30. According to Barthelemy, “XC-30 will be fabricated from a combination of highly advance materials”. [1]. Here we see that at a certain speed friction will start to form and heat the aircraft greatly. To avoid structure damages, special material is used in the aircraft construction to prevent overheating.  Aeronautical will gather data and determine what material will be suited for this kind of stress and aerospace will design and manufacture an aircraft base on the material that was gather from research. We can see how both terms play a role in today’s aircraft.


[1] R. Barthelemy, “Recent progress in the National Aerospace Plane program,” in IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 3-12, May 1989, doi: 10.1109/62.31806.
[2] “Aeronautics definition & meaning,” Merriam-Webster. [Online]. Available: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aeronautics. [Accessed: 12-Dec-2021].
[3] “Aerospace definition & meaning,” Dictionary.com. [Online]. Available: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/aerospace. [Accessed: 12-Dec-2021].
[4] “Aerospace definition & meaning,” Merriam-Webster. [Online]. Available: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aerospace. [Accessed: 12-Dec-2021].
[5] “Aeronautical definition and meaning: Collins english dictionary,” Aeronautical definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary. [Online]. Available: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/aeronautical. [Accessed: 12-Dec-2021].

Leave a Reply