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67

You were born 100 years too late. In order to be an improvement over existing designs, airplanes become ever more complex and every detail is optimised over years and years. The days when someone like Robert Hall or Kurt Tank would design and test fly their designs are long gone. The best you can do is to design an experimental aircraft and maybe market it ...


35

Rather than being concerned with titles, let's take a look what's involved in designing/analyzing/certifying a modern airplane: External aerodynamics: deduce the aerodynamic characteristics and propose changes in outer model line as required to achieve the desired characteristics. Skills: applied mathematics, aeronautics engineering. Flight science: deduce ...


20

Time All other things aside all commercial part 121 pilots have a finite end date, starting at 45 means you are going to be ~20 years behind the young guys. Since the FAA mandates retirement from part 121 operations at 65 you have 20 years left but let's look at that a bit more practically. Assuming you pay for all your own training and don't need to go the ...


20

You aren't crazy. People have started later than you and been successful. However, age does bring additional challenges, which one could argue is an ageist bias of sorts. The first is age itself. Part 121 carriers have a mandatory retirement age of 65. That puts a hard limit on a potential airline career in terms of seniority and wages. There is no hard ...


15

I'll address the question in the title: how to get into actually designing an entire aircraft. Not every component, but making the major, visible decisions. Such jobs do exist, but they aren't easy to get. Design is an iterative process that goes continuously more in-depth on every step. It begins with a requirements document, which are responded to with ...


7

Some years ago (in the 80s) I tried out for ATC in Canada and took the preliminary screening test, which was a series of 25 diagrams representing radar displays with targets moving around different airways, crisscrossing each other in various directions, and you had to answer 2 questions for each diagram, whether or not targets at different speeds and ...


6

Aside from the career advice (there is in fact an increasingly desperate shortage of pilots as the baby boom wave retires - you should do it if you really want it, and if you you pay attention when travelling you will spot a surprising number of starting-late 50+ copilots on the Regionals), the biggest challenge is something that surprised me when I took a ...


6

It is country specific In the US, as well as I can translate the legalese to English, your application must be accepted by the FAA before you turn 30. (I considered it myself, about a decade too late.) In Canada, you must be at least 18 years of age, but I couldn't find any readily available maximum. As another answer indicates, there may not be one. In ...


4

Not for modern airplanes. Let's look at an example. Take a small airplane, the Cessna Skyhawk. Even on an airplane that small, Cessna doesn't make all of the components itself. For example, the engine is made by Lycoming, the avionics are provided by Garmin, the propeller is made by McCauley etc. There isn't a position at Cessna involved in the design of all ...


3

Probably the last guy that was able to do that successfully was Burt Rutan. A person whose history is worth studying if you are interested in this sort of thing. Designing a complete aircraft from scratch today is far less likely then designing a complete car.


3

If to see an aircraft as a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, the definition may cover also drones of all kinds. Then a realistic way would be to create a startup that designs a drone. For instance, I know a Swiss startup that designed unusual VTOL fixed wing drone offering much more endurance than its helicopter-like competitors. ...


3

Your previous education does not matter that much, it's way more about your suitability for the extremely demanding job of professional pilot. You can enter a range of differing training paths that lead, should you successfully complete the hard training, to an atp licence. The ones that offer some kind of promise of getting hired, have rigorous selection ...


3

The third point in your original list is a clear red flag: I'm a huge fan of airplane (but I'm not the type of guy loving learning every thing by heart) I don't mean to put you off with what follows, but honestly, you've got to love learning everything by heart in the military in general, let alone the airforce. Becoming a professional pilot is ...


3

In the USAF, it has, historically, been common for rated Navigators to be selected for pilot training, and possible, though less common, for young officers in other career tracks as well. That said, this process is competitive (so certainly not guaranteed for a particular individual), and dependent on the "needs of the service", so what is going on "now" ...


2

This can be difficult to answer, but I'll try from a US/FAA perspective. Military Service If you want to become a military pilot you cannot have any history of mental or psychological disorder This is from the perspective of starting out to become a military pilot. If you are already a military pilot and have some kind of mental/psychological issue that you ...


2

I think that a lit bit technical knowledge is required to at least think of being an ATC because imagine a “mayday” situation. The ATC has to plan everything according to it and this is the point where technical knowledge comes really handy. Secondly it isn’t necessary that doing five tasks together at the same time makes you suitable for an ATC because ...


1

At one step remove, technical computing. Over the four years I in technical computing at BAE SYSTEMS, I was helping design: Operational research simulation Observe Orient Decide Act loops Sensor integration Genetic design of wing shape Simulated annealing of processor allocation Structural integrity modelling Radar cross-section estimation Autonomous air ...


1

Study. Study. Study I am not sure if the phrase “learning every thing by hearth” in French is the same as the English phrase “know by heart”. I figure that your question just has a typo. You will need to learn to love learning. Admittedly, I only know American military pilot experiences second-hand. But, I have flown with military pilots on the civilian ...


1

in the Netherlands, LVNL will not hire anyone over the age of 30 (this used to be 25 until some years ago). It's listed as the very first sentence on their website about how to get a job as a controller. There are also strict medical requirements basically the same as those for a PPL class medical. This is in no small part because there's a 5+ year ...


1

Navy and Air Force in the US regularly see migration between officer specialties. A friend who had a non-pilot Navy job, now flies patrol missions. A co-worker who had a logistics job (math major in college) with the Air Force, later put in for pilot training, and was accepted. He eventually was assigned to Beale and flew U-2s and became an instructor ...


1

If an airline pays too much attention to such difference, I would be worried. Very few accidents are caused by improper handling of the controls; the majority are due to poor pilot's decisions and discipline, so I expect airlines to focus on the latter.


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