Short Courses

Our Aeronautics, Aircraft Systems/Operations and Aircraft-Engine/Gas Turbine Engine Short Courses.

Steve near an F-105 "Thud" fighter-bomber on a recent Intro to Aeronautics field trip.
why choose us


More than ever, today’s aircraft are complex systems requiring skilled professionals to combine their specific expertise into a fully integrated vehicle. The professionals who engineer, test, manufacture, and in any way support these aircraft are accomplished specialists, but often lack an overall understanding of the airplane system as a whole. Fundamental understanding of the airplane-engine system gives you improved ability to communicate more effectively and frame thinking beyond your area of expertise.

Combined Years of Experience
Courses Offered
Students Taught
Suitable for Anyone

Our Introductory classes are suitable for anyone with interest; you don’t need to be an engineer or have a degree, nor do you need any experience to learn. Even those with years in the field have benefited from the practical perspective we bring to each topic.

Our Introductory Classes

Fundamentals of Flight

A Practical Overview of Aeronautics

This 20 hour short course is all about airplanes, how they fly and why they look the way they do.

airplane on runway
Introduction to Aeronautics

A Practical Perspective

This 32 hour short course is packed full of examples. You will graduate with a solid understanding of the basics of aeronautics and the give-and-take inherent to aircraft design.

Introduction to Aircraft Systems

A Practical Perspective

This 20 hour short course introduces the major systems—their purpose, how they operate (including theory), integration considerations, certification challenges, and industry trends (including both military and civil designs).

MQ-1B Predator
Introduction to Operations in the National Airspace

This 20 hour short course introduces the major issues involved—which are even more critical when the air vehicles are unmanned/remotely operated. 

F15 E Eagle Engine
Introduction to Jet Engines

A Practical Perspective

This 20 hour short course is all about Gas Turbine Engines (GTEs), how they operate and how they are used in various air-breathing propulsion systems.

KC 135 engine
Introduction to Gas Turbine Engine Mechanical Systems

A Practical Perspective

The focus of this 20 hour class is foundational understanding of gas turbine engine (GTE) “secondary” or “support” systems – bearings and lubrication, sealing, cooling, heating, gearing, fuel delivery, starting and power takeoff. 

Our Advanced Classes

Suitable for those with a technical background

Our Advanced classes are for engineers/scientists and those with a technical background, any discipline. Like all PAI courses, focus is on foundational understanding of the underlying governing principles and does include mathematical explanations. Fundamental understanding is driven home in a small group, workshop style learning environment using a contextual, systems-level framework with hands-on exercises and lots of attendee participation. Additionally, you will learn from the folks who literally wrote the book…the textbooks used in each of these courses are all authored by current or former PAI instructors! The potential to tailor the exercises to best meet customer needs exists.

Cycle Analysis of Gas Turbine Engines

This 36 hour workshop-style short course is for those with a technical background who desire a practical understanding of gas turbine engine cycle performance including design, analysis, and test applied to an air, ship, or ground vehicle.

XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator first flight public domain wpafb2019
Aircraft Engine Systems Design
Introductory Systems Analysis

Attendees to this 16 hour course are introduced to the aircraft-engine system design process in a very practical way – by responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP) which defines aircraft requirements.

Aircraft Engine Systems Design
Intermediate Engine Design

Attendees to this 20 hour course are provided details of an engine on-design and off-design methodology like that used in industry.

students looking at jet engine parts
Aircraft Engine Systems Design
Advanced Component Design

Attendees to this 36 hour course are provided foundational principles governing preliminary engine component design to include aerodynamics as well as stress and materials considerations.

Fundamentals of Aircraft Engine Controls, Accessories and Health Management

This 36 hour short course is for those with a technical background who desire a foundational understanding of aircraft engine control and accessory systems for both turbofan and turboshaft engines.

What’s Special about Practical Aero Courses?

Unique Content Design, Systems Focus,
Unique Teaching Style, Building Block Approach