Aeronautics

The aeronautics community is continuing to chase the horizon. Innovators are pushing technology to deliver new products and services for the benefit of society. In the next 5–10 years, many new capabilities will be introduced, and the next generation will experience flight in ways we are just imagining. We stand at the precipice of urban flight, integrating ground and air vehicles in new ways. The industry is building on the advances made since the early 20th century taking us further, faster, safer, and cleaner. AIAA advances these opportunities through its focus on the Aeronautics Domain.

AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher highlights the importance of the new Domain approach at AIAA.

Priority Areas in Aeronautics

 Advanced Air Mobility Advanced air mobility could grow into a $115 billion industry that gives all of us new transportation options. With clear operational guidelines, regulations, and standards for accommodating and incorporating autonomy, we see a thriving integrated urban and regional airspace in the next decade. The benefits of autonomy will enhance safety for everyone and enable capabilities we are only just imagining.

 Carbon Emissions and Sustainability The global community is focused on achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector by 2050. The AIAA community plays an integral role in this effort that will make a substantial difference to benefit our planet.

AIAA is working with the industry toward several steps, including:

  • Advocacy for more government support for the goal of carbon-free aviation by 2050
  • Deployment of SAF for current airline fleets, while also addressing fleet recapitalization
  • Adoption of hydrogen fuel cells and other clean, renewable energy sources
  • Focus on new R&D 
  • Development of the “green” aviation workforce

 Certification The widespread use of UAVs and drones—both commercial and recreational—prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to adapt its certification processes. Similarly, the FAA must facilitate safe use of AAM systems for passenger and cargo transport. As the FAA refreshes its certification strategy, we expect to see clear specifications, regulations, and standards emerge that will strike an appropriate balance between safety and innovation. 

Space launches are close to a daily occurrence and launch sites are infringing on urban environments and large metropolitan areas. The integration of commercial air traffic, AAM, and space launch traffic must receive government attention to help drive global regulatory and certification strategies that ensure safety and continued smooth sustainable economic growth for all stakeholders.

 Hypersonics and Supersonics High speed “transportation” – both military and civilian – is fast becoming a reality. Integrating hypersonic and supersonic flight into the national and global airspace will require attention to operational efficiency, safety through certification, and environmental and societal impacts including noise and emissions. AIAA will address questions around:

  • Is sustainable civil high-speed endo-atmospheric flight achievable?
  • What role does the government have in promoting hypersonic and/or supersonic flight?
  • What technologies are needed to develop and mature efficient and low environmental impact hypersonic and supersonic flight?

Events

  • Stockholm-33rdICAS-Photo 33rd Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS)

    4 September - 9 September 2022

    Stockholm, Sweden

    ICAS is an international, non-government, non-profit scientific organization with the mission to advance knowledge and facilitate collaboration in aeronautics. ICAS is the only international support organization to representative aeronautical engineering professional societies and their members in 30 countries.
  • 41st-DASC-graphic-thumbnail 41st Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC)

    18 September - 22 September 2022

    Portsmouth, Virginia, USA

    Join us in Portsmouth, Virginia for the 41st AIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference (DASC), the preeminent R&D conference in the field of digital avionics offered by two distinguished professional societies, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
  • SciTech22Thumb 2023 AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (AIAA SciTech Forum)

    23 January - 27 January 2023

    National Harbor, MD & Online

    AIAA SciTech Forum is the world’s largest event for aerospace research and development.

Courses

Past Events

Aeronautics Playlist

Task Forces

The AIAA Advanced Air Mobility Task Force is guiding the implementation of the AIAA plan for advanced air mobility (AAM) systems capabilities. AAM could embody the single greatest transformation for aviation business, science, and policy—and public perceptions—since the emergence of mainstream commercial aviation in the mid-20th century. With clear operational guidelines, regulations, and standards for accommodating and incorporating autonomy, AIAA sees a thriving integrated urban and regional airspace in the next decade. The benefits of autonomy will enhance safety for everyone and enable capabilities we are only just imagining.

The AIAA Carbon Emission and Sustainability Task Force is addressing efforts across AIAA to drive progress toward net zero carbon emissions by 2050. In 2019, commercial aviation produced ~2% of global human-induced carbon dioxide emissions. Many aviation industry stakeholders and AIAA members are taking on generational-scale challenges that require broad collaboration and support. AIAA sees the need and opportunity for the aviation industry to pursue technology development, product and services development, and operational changes to reduce the impact to climate change.

 

AIAA Aeronautics Lead
  • Ming-Ching Ming Chang
    AIAA Domain Lead for Aeronautics; Senior Director of Flight Technologies, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (Retired)