Module code: ENG2091

Module Overview

The purpose of the module is to introduce students to aeronautical aerodynamics, the aerodynamics of aerofoils and wings, aircraft performance and propulsion, and to apply these to build an understanding of and mathematical description of aircraft flight for low-speed 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: 60

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 10

Laboratory Hours: 3

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 33

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, aerodynamic coefficients, stall. Pressure and friction drag. Effects of Reynolds number (briefly).  Wings, effect of aspect ratio.  Trailing vortices, downwash, and induced drag.   Multi-element aerofoils/wings, flaps and leading-edge devices.  Effects of Mach number. Swept wings.

Propulsion systems: 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. 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
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test CLASS TEST (1 hr) 20
Online Scheduled Summative Class Test CLASS TEST (1 hr) 20
Examination EXAM (1.5 hrs) 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The summative 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 students to develop their understanding of the lecture material by a series of progressive questions. The class test elements allow 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  - [learning outcomes 1, 3]

  • Class test  - [learning outcomes 1, 3]

  • Examination - [learning outcomes 1, 2, 3]

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative verbal feedback is given in tutorials during discussions with individual students.

  • Written feedback is given on the class tests, and general points are fed back during lecture or tutorial time.

  • Further feedback is provided during the laboratory classes.

Module aims

  • Provide students with an introduction to the principles of flight and their implications for low-speed subsonic aircraft
  • Provide students with a level of understanding that will equip those seeking professional placement where a knowledge in aerodynamics and the principles of flight is expected
  • Provide students with sufficient knowledge to participate in the Flight Test Course at a later time, though this course is not formally part of the module
  • Provide students with a practical experience (via laboratory classes) of aerofoil aerodynamics and aircraft stability
  • Provide students with an introduction to propulsion systems used in the aerospace industry

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of scientific principles and methodology relating to aircraft aerodynamics, aircraft performance, relevant aspects of propulsion, and the international standard atmosphere 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 C
003 Describe the performance and characteristics of aircraft flight 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 and examples delivered primarily through guided learning. This is accompanied by problem-solving sets (some of which develop a series of linked case studies) and practical laboratory classes.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures 

  • Tutorials 

  • Laboratory classes

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

Other information

The School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas; 

Employability: This module provides students with an introduction on aerospace related topics necessary for those seeking professional placement where a knowledge in aerodynamics and the principles of flight is expected.

Digital capabilities: Students will be encourged to make use of thier digital skills to solve problems during the tutorial session (Spreadsheet) and post-process data acquired during the laboratory classes (Matlab). They will also further develop their digital skills via taking part and recieveing feedback as part of their online class tests.  

Sustainability: Students are given tools to establish the fuel consumption required in each phase of an airgract mission to understand the environmental impact of their chosen manoeuvres and mission profile.

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 2024/5 academic year.