The current technological advances that are apparent today are of paramount importance to the study of Systems Engineering. Systems engineering has redefined the traditional view of what makes up an entire unit of a machine. Its influence has also permeated into such areas as manufacturing processes and the management of people, tools and capital in the process of manufacturing. To understand the focal point or basic idea of this discipline, one should look at the definition of a “system”. A system is an entire unit that is made of parts or other systems, which work in concert to achieve a desired output. Systems that are units of an entire system are termed as sub-systems. One should not view a system only in terms of hardware or in a machine design aspect, but should also know that also entail the aspect of human labour in relation to the economic output of a society, nation, firm or industry (Department of Defence, 3).
The power of flight has been of interest to Man for a very long time. From Grecian times such as the infamous story of Daedalus flight in Greek Mythology (Bonnefoy, Y., 88) up to the time of the Wright brothers, we can see that this area has exercised man’s creative genius. The advances in aircraft manufacturing since the first airplane made by the Wright brothers are tremendous. Presently, aircraft consists of both those that require human effort to control to those that require little or no human effort to control (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1). In addition, there are different types of aircraft ranging from space vehicles, commercial aircraft to the helicopter. All these machines have complex systems. Due to this complexity, systems engineering has become of paramount importance in their design.
The complexity of aircraft systems of modern times is because of complex processes and materials that go into their production. The use of advanced materials such as high strength Kevlar and the use of complex manufacturing processes to process these materials have radically altered the concept of machine design. Aircraft manufacturing has also created a new field of engineering called Aerospace Engineering. The skills required in this field are radically different from those that are required in traditional engineering fields such as Automotive Engineering. The application of systems engineering is one of the areas that an aerospace engineer should be proficient. The knowledge of systems engineering to the design of aircraft can be useful in areas such as the design of aircraft that have low fuel consumption and the design of military aircraft for combat missions (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1).
Since the 1950s, when this field was recognized, it has supplied solutions to the creation and design of complex systems. The knowledge of the design of systems from this discipline have been used in the design of ships, computers, city planning and to aircraft (Honor, E.C., 1). Traditionally, production of any...