Module code: ENG2091

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

HANCOCK PE Dr (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 5

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 36

Tutorial Hours: 12

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAMINATION (2 HRS) 80%
Coursework ASSIGNMENT 20%

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The purpose of the module is to introduce the student to aeronautical aerodynamics, the aerodynamics of aerofoils and wings, and to aircraft propulsion, and to apply these to build up an understanding of and mathematical description of aircraft flight for low-speed and subsonic aircraft.  

Module aims

an introduction to the principles of flight and their implications for low-speed and subsonic aircraft

a level of understanding that will equip those seeking professional placement where a knowledge in aerodynamics and the principles of flight is expected

sufficient knowledge to properly participate in the Flight Test Course at a later time, though this course is not formally part of the module

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of scientific principles and methodology relating to aircraft aerodynamics, and relevant aspects of propulsion and the international standard atmosphere (SM1b/m) K
Apply mathematical and scientific models to problems of aircraft flight and be able to discuss the assumptions and limitations inherent in their application (SM2b/m, SM3b/m) C
Describe the performance and characteristics of aircraft flight (EA1b/m, EA2) K

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

The Atmosphere: The international standard atmosphere. True and equivalent airspeed

Aerodynamics of Aerofoils and wings: Aerofoil profile parameters, lift, drag, pitching moment, aerodynamic centre, coefficients, stall. Pressure drag and skin-friction drag. Effects of Reynolds number (briefly).  Wings, effect of aspect ratio.  Trailing vorticies, downwash and induced drag.   Multi-element aerofoils/wings, flaps and leading-edge devices.  Effects of Mach number. Swept wings.

Propulsion: Jet engines, the effect of altitude. Turbo prop.  Aerodynamics of propellers.

Aircraft performance: Steady level flight.  Drag-speed relationships, minimum drag.  Lift-to-drag and other non-dimensional ratios.  Range and endurance for thrust producing engines. Rates and angles of climbing flight, thrust-producing engines. Altitude ceiling. Gliding flight.  Ground effect, take off and landing. 

Stability: Longitudinal static stability conditions, effects of downwash. Neutral stability and static margin.  Speed control and trim.  Longitudinal dynamic stability. Lateral control and static stability.  Longitudinal and lateral stability derivatives. Effects of control surfaces, wing shape; wing height and dihedral, sweep.  Introduction to lateral dynamic modes.

Flight Test Course: Briefing, covering how parts of the module relate to this course (which is separate from the present module)

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

introduce principles through theory, delivered primarily through the lectures. The lectures are accompanied by tutorial example sets, some of which develop a series of linked case studies.

The assignment picks on a number of topics that have been covered to that point, with feedback given individually and general points to the whole cohort.

The learning and teaching methods include:

3 hours lecture per week x 11 weeks
1 hour tutorial (in groups) x 11 weeks
2 hours revision via questions from past exam papers
An assignment  (6 hours)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

understanding of scientific principles, methodologies and mathematical methods as well as the ability to describe particular systems and processes in the final examination. The tutorial work allows the student to develop his/her understanding of the lecture material by a series of progressive questions.  The coursework element allows students to demonstrate that they can interpret problems and present solutions clearly and accurately.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Written assignment.  (6 hours)   
Examination  (2 hours)

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative verbal feedback is given in tutorials in discussion with individual students.
Written feedback is given on the coursework assessment, and general points are fed back during lecture or tutorial time.

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.