Module code: ENG2091

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 provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

PLACIDI Marco (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 104

Lecture Hours: 35

Tutorial Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


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)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test ASSIGNMENT (1 HR) 20
Examination EXAMINATION (2 HRS) 80

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate an 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 class test 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:

  • Class test (1 hour)   

  • 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 class test, and general points are fed back during lecture or tutorial time.

Module aims

  • This module aims to provide students with:
    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.
  • This is the first module specific to the Aerospace Engineering taken by students on these programmes, and also provides an introduction to material that is covered in later modules.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 IMechE Specific Learning Outcome codes: SM1b/m, SM2b/m, SM3b/m, EA1b/m EA2 On successful completion of this module, students will be able to: 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 K
002 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
003 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

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

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENG2091

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Aerospace Engineering BEng (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Aerospace Engineering MEng 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

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 2020/1 academic year.