Dari segi sejarah, komponen empirikal didapati dari ujian model skala dan protaip, samaada dalam terowong angin atau di luar.
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More recently, advances in computer technology have enabled the use of computational fluid dynamics to simulate the behavior of a vehicle, reducing time and expense.
Additionally, aerospace engineering deals with the integration of all components that constitute an aerospace vehicle (subsystems including power, communications, thermal control, life support, etc.) and its life cycle (design, manufacture, testing, operation, disposal), and as such is really a special branch of systems engineering. The operational requirements of aerospace vehicles are often extreme (temperature, pressure, radiation, velocity, life time...), leading to extraordinary challenges and solutions specific to the domain of aerospace systems engineering.