Aerospace and Defense Career
Aerospace industry contains various industries including aircraft, spaceships and the jets, engines and rockets production. While the defense industry manufactures a complementary group of goods, ships and submarines, including tanks, satellites, and armored vehicles, explosives, guns and bullets.
Both of these industries are closely related to each other. The main source of earning money for aerospace is by supplying airplanes to individuals or airlines. The Commercial Airline Company is infamously cyclical, depending on the business cycle, airline fare and terrorism. So the rate of purchasing airlines vary.
Defense contracts are also very attractive and profitable and thus cannot be overlooked. The U.S. Government announced $480 billion for defense in the 2008 budget. Producing fighter jets as well as cargo planes need almost the same skill sets, and more importantly defense contracts are not dependent on market condition. Leading manufacturers of engines for planes in U.S. are Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of United Technologies, Rolls Royce, Daimler-Benz, Westinghouse and GE.
Boeing and Airbus dominate the commercial aircraft market. They also have keen interests in the defense contracts. In 2007, half of the revenue of Boeing was derived from government contracts. There are also smaller companies like Textron, Embraer and Bombardier. These companies are involved in both commercial as well as military aircraft and technology.
There are also various defense contractors including contract leader Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Raytheon, BAE Systems General Dynamics and United Technologies.
As China is coming up with their own aircraft manufacturer, Boeing and Airbus might face a third competitor. China Aviation Industry Corporation has already produced the ARJ-21, a small plane modified for air travel in China. It has the capacity to carry about 80 people. It will be in service in 2009.
You can refer to the following articles regarding Aerospace and Defense Careers: