Liddle, Stephen Renault Sport Racing, Viry-Chatillon, France.
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A branch of engineering concerned primarily with the special problems of flight and other modes of transportation involving a heavy reliance on aerodynamics or fluid mechanics. The main emphasis in aeronautical engineering is on airplane and missile flight (Fig. 1), but aeronautical engineers work in numerous related fields and applications. An example is hydrofoils, which create lift in water and have many problems in common with aircraft wings. Aeronautical engineers also work with devices such as air-cushion vehicles, or hovercraft, which make use of airflow around the base to lift the vehicle a few feet off the ground, whereupon it is propelled forward by use of propellers or gas turbines. Furthermore, aeronautical engineering skills are required in fields such as motorsport and renewable energy for wind turbines. See also: Aerodynamics; Air; Aircraft; Airplane; Fluid mechanics; Guided missile; Hydrofoil craft; Wind power
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