The Aeronautical Journal is unusual in ‘covering all aspects of aerospace’. This is something of a rarity nowadays, with conferences and journals aiming to attract high-profile experts by maximising specialist content – more ‘bang for the buck’, as the expression goes. Yet we know that Engineering is a multi-disciplinary endeavour and that products which major in one area of technology are either limited in impact or simply perform poorly.
The International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, with its biennial Congress (even years) and Emerging Technologies Forum (odd years) is an organisation similarly committed to a broad coverage of the aeronautical disciplines. The Aeronautical Journal and the ICAS Congress is therefore a good partnership for learned output which aims to represent an engineering sector rather than focussing on a specific specialism.
Within the pages of the October issue of The Aeronautical Journal is a fascinating collection of articles selected from last year’s ICAS Congress and enhanced through the peer-review process. The diverse subject matter includes: systems of systems approaches to aeronautical design and product development, two with particular focus on electric systems and propulsion; matching of flight test and computational data; advanced fluid dynamics of particular importance to HALE aircraft; optimisation of complex rotor blade/sleeve aerodynamics; thermal management of hypersonic vehicles; failure tolerance of structural composites; and management of both pilot-data and UAV-data interaction.
As research engineers are increasingly asked by industry and by society to come up with more creative applications of science and technology to solve both long-standing and emerging problems, the ability to look across the aerospace disciplines can only become more important. Both journals and conferences with this kind of broad outlook will remain an important part of the publication landscape.