The application of engineering concepts and principles in the design and development of aircrafts and spacecrafts is a specialized branch called as aeronautical or aerospace engineering. An aircraft engineer is thus an individual who works in this branch of engineering with other engineers.
An aircraft engineer conceptualizes the design and ergonomics for an aircraft. He is involved in developing the various parts and systems required for the aircraft such as propellers, engine, flaps, etc. He has to derive the specifications for all the parts and circulate the specifications chart to other engineers.
He undertakes the manufacturing process of all the parts of the aircraft and supervises the staff involved in the process. After all the parts are manufactured, he supervises the assembly and installation of parts. He conducts or participates in the flight tests to check if the aircraft is safe and all the parts are functioning properly. If a part or system is found faulty or unsafe, he revamps the design and features to eliminate the faults.
The aircraft engineer schedules maintenance and repairs for the aircrafts. He investigates incidents of crashes and failures to find out the exact cause and eliminate or minimize similar incidents future. He has to file reports of all the stages of aircraft engineering and manufacturing and update the team and other personnel about the project status.
The aircraft engineer responsibilities have been segregated into different categories as it will help you to learn all the details of this job.
Planning and Designing
The aircraft engineer plans and designs the specifications of the aircraft depending on the requirements. He has to apply the latest concepts of aircraft engineering for the design and features.
The aircraft engineer presents budget for the estimated costs of the manufacturing process.
Scheduling Manufacturing, Repair and Maintenance
The aircraft engineer schedules and supervises the manufacturing of aircraft parts and systems. He also schedules repair and maintenance of aircrafts that are already being used.
Assembly and Aircraft Testing
The aircraft engineer supervises the assembly of parts and guides the staff involved in the assembly process. Once all the parts are assembled, the aircraft is tested on various parameters. The aircraft engineer has to prepare and present reports on the functioning of the aircraft and suggest improvements to increase the overall efficiency and safety of the aircraft.
The aircraft engineer suggests modifications for the old aircrafts so that they are able to satisfy the safety and functionality criteria as per the latest regulations.
The aircraft engineer prepares and discusses the project results with the engineering team and management.
An aircraft engineer should be skilled in:
Individuals with a degree in aerospace or aeronautical engineering are usually preferred for this job. However, candidates with an experience in product engineering or mechanical engineering also qualify for this job if they have adequate experience.
Salary for an aircraft engineer ranges between $80,000 to $90,000. Additional benefits and allowances will vary upon the employer, location and performance of the engineer.
Apart from the aircraft engineer responsibilities described here, there can be various additional responsibilities that are assigned from time to time to meet the project requirements. It is expected that you perform those additional responsibilities with equal dedication as it will help you to grow and succeed on the professional front and make a positive impression on the management.