The Aeronautical Engineering course was first offered by UTM during the 1980/81 session and was jointly run by UTM and TUDM. Its objective was to fulfill the need for skilled and semi-skilled human resources in the aeronautical field especially in the public sector. TUDM required human resources to operate, maintain, repair, oversee and manage different types of aircraft and UTM had the capability to produce graduates in this field. This need has continued to increase with the development in the airline industry in Malaysia which demands for more trained manpower especially engineers and technical assistants.
The Aeronautical Engineering course in UTM is offered as a specialisation of Mechanical Engineering and covers five main areas namely Aerodynamics, Aircraft Structure, Flight Dynamics and Control, Propulsion and Aircraft Design. Thus, graduates of this programme satisfy the requirement to graduate as an engineer in Mechanical Engineering as well as in the field of specialisation in aeronautics. Apart from TUDM, the Civil Aviation Department requires trained manpower to supervise flying activities in Malaysia.
Other organisations that require graduates in the field of aeronautics include Malaysia Airline System, Air Asia, AIROD, Eagle Aircraft, SME aviation, Malaysia Helicopter Services (MHS), TLDM and PDRM Air Unit. Several other firms also have working opportunities in the airline industry. In the field of academic and research, opportunity is available for aeronautical engineers to serve in any institution that run courses and research in the field of Aeronautics. Several other universities and institutions in Malaysia have started to offer courses in the field of Aeronautics. Due to the rapid expansion in the airline industry, many airline companies, flying clubs and firms are prepared to get involved actively in the airline industry of the country by offering more job opportunities to UTM graduates.
Field Of Study – Aeronautical Engineering
Aeronautical engineering encompasses all aspects of studies related to flying. In this respect, flying includes aerospace flight. The areas of specialisation in Aeronautical Engineering can be divided into the following:-
Aerodynamics is the relationship between air (wind) and the material (solid) that moves in it. Various principles of Fluid Mechanics are considered in a flying problem. For example, aerodynamic study will determine a suitable shape for an aircraft, missile, etc.
b) Flight Mechanics
Flight mechanics is an important aspect in the design and operation of an aircraft flight mission. Topics include aircraft performance (take-off, climbing, cruising, decent and landing) and aircraft static stability and control in steady flight conditions. A flight mission can only be operated successfully and safely if proper efforts are given to this aspect. Therefore, in this course students will be equipped with the fundamental concept of aircraft performance calculation and static stability and control determination needed to analyze and apply in aircraft design project.
c) Flight Dynamics and Control
This course is about the dynamics behavior of rigid body aircraft and the application of control system theory to design simple stability augmentation systems to more complex automatic flight control systems. This includes the application of modern multivariable control system design using state-space methods. Topics include axes system and notation, equation of motion of rigid body including translation, aircraft longitudinal and lateral dynamic stability, flying and handling qualities, stability augmentation and automatic flight control system, aerodynamics stability derivatives and multivariable state-space methods.
This area will determine the integrity (strength) of a flying body such as an aircraft or a missile. Using dimensions and tolerances, strength of material, shear flow and theory of thin plate, the structure of an aircraft can be determined.
e) Flight Propulsion
Propulsion is a study of an aircraft power plant. This study includes design and selection of appropriate power plant for a particular aircraft. This field has developed vastly since the increase in the cost of petroleum. Engineers have been competing to invent lighter and more economic power plants.
Avionics is the acronym for ‘Aviation Electronics’. Flying has been facilitated by the use of various electronic devices. Electronic devices which facilitate flying such as radars, ILS (Instrument landing System), ADF (Automatic Direction Finder), etc were specifically invented by the Avionic Engineer. The Avionic Engineer will also ensure that the radar fitted on an aircraft will function satisfactorily.
The aircraft industry has expanded tremendously during this decade. The industry requires experts to manage and administer its operation smoothly. Regulations concerning the construction and operations of aircraft have been so devised in order to avoid accidents and mistakes which may sacrifice lives.
Apart from transporting passengers, an aircraft is also used as cargo carriers, ambulance, etc. Study in this area trains transportation experts to modify flight schedule and load so that the aircraft can be used economically.
i) Flight Regulations
To avoid accidents, the flying fraternity has formulated special laws for flying. Briefly the laws are divided into two, namely military flight regulations and public flight regulations.
j) Materials for Aircraft
This field focuses its study on selecting and determining metals, plastic composites, etc, which are suitable for building an aircraft, rocket, etc.
PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES (PO) for SMT/SKMT