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.
- Aeronautics in the 21st Century: Safe, Sustainable, and Smart
By AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher
The aeronautics industry is embracing opportunities in the near term that will contribute to its enduring legacy of changing society and reshaping everyday life as we know it.
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?
The U.S. Aerospace Workforce: Obstacles and Opportunities
16 November 2023 1200 - 1300 (Eastern Standard Time)During this session, the obstacles and opportunities related to the U.S. aerospace workforce are revisited through a panel discussion. The envisioned conversation intends to provide an opportunity to gain an industry perspective on some of the pain points and relevant opportunities for the workforce.
2024 AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (AIAA SciTech Forum)
8 January - 12 January 2024
Orlando, Florida, USAThe AIAA SciTech Forum program covers the science, technologies, and policies that are shaping the future of aerospace. The forum is the largest event for aerospace research, development, and technology in the world.
30th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference
4 June - 7 June 2024
Rome, ItalyThe AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference is the premier international forum for the field of aeroacoustics.
Design Evolution of Aircraft Structures – Online Course (Starts March 19, 2024)
19 March - 18 April 2024
This applied introductory course covers the evolution of the most important fundamental and practical concepts of modern aircraft structures.
Open for registration. Register Now
Guidance and Control of Hypersonic Vehicles – Online Short Course (Starts May 14, 2024)
14 May - 6 June 2024
This course presents a comprehensive overview of the recent, emerging technological advances in hypersonic flight vehicles, with an emphasis on solving a variety of guidance and control problems of hypersonic vehicles.
Open for registration. Register Now
Financial and Business Acumen for Navigating the Aerospace Industry – Online Short Course (Starts March 5, 2024)
5 March - 26 March 2024
This course will provide the baseline for engineers to develop financial/business acumen at all levels within both non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Open for registration. Register Now
AIAA Statement on the OSIRIS-REx Sample Return Mission
25 September 2023AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher made the following statement: “Congratulations to NASA on the successful return of its first asteroid sample to Earth! We were thrilled watching the OSIRIS-REx mission...
AIAA Announces 2022–2023 University Student Design Competitions Winners
21 September 2023AIAA is pleased to announce the winners of its 2022–2023 Design Competitions. AIAA Design Competitions give undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to respond to requests for proposals outlining a design problem...
AIAA Announces 2023 Undergraduate Scholarship and Graduate Award Winners
5 September 2023The AIAA Foundation has announced the 24 winners of its 2023 undergraduate scholarships and graduate awards. Through its Foundation and supported by nearly 30,000 members, AIAA annually awards...
HyTASP Technical Committee Hypersonics Webinar (AIAA Member Exclusive)
21 September 2023 1900 - 2030 (Eastern Daylight Time)
OnlineAerothermodynamic heating is an unavoidable consequence of high-speed flight. This webinar presents design challenges for hypersonic vehicles that must be understood and addressed.
2023 International Conference on Advanced Unmanned Aerial Systems
13 July - 16 July 2023The 2023 International Conference on Advanced Unmanned Aerial Systems (ICAUAS 2023) will be held 13–16 July 2023. The event is multi-city and hybrid, in Toronto, Canada and Harbin, China.
2023 AIAA Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition (AIAA AVIATION Forum)
12 June - 16 June 2023
San Diego, California & Online, USAThe AIAA AVIATION Forum is the only aviation event that covers the entire integrated spectrum of aviation business, research, development, and technology.
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.
Watch the 10 May 2023 AIAA AAM Task Force meeting with the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), hosted by the Vertical Flight Society. Watch Video
AAM Task Force Public Forum
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.
Carbon Emissions & Sustainability Task Force Public Forum
AIAA Aeronautics Lead
AIAA Domain Lead for Aeronautics; Senior Director of Flight Technologies, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (Retired)