Module code: ENG2096

Module Overview

Second year module for BEng and MEng aerospace engineering students.

Aircraft structures engineering is the study of the design and analysis of aircraft structures and is critical to the future and sustainability of the aerospace industry . This module will provide an  understanding of aircraft structures, aircraft aerodynamic loads and aeroelasticity. This builds on previous general modules on materials stress analysis and the module on aerodynamics and flight mechanics, providing students with knowledge and understanding in each of these areas directly applicable to aircraft structures. It complements this knowledge with an introduction to fluid-structure interaction, presenting fundamental loads and aeroelastic effects that arise on aircraft structures. Students will develop skills to analyze diverse types of loads on typical structures using a variety of hand and digital methods.

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

MARQUES Simao (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: 73

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Aircraft Structures

    • Introduction to aircraft materials and structures

    • Stiffened shell idealisation: direct stress booms and shear stress skins

    • Bending in boom-idealised wing and fuselage sections

    • Shear in thin-walled beam sections

    • Shear in boom-idealised sections

  • Aerodynamic Loads and Aeroelasticity

    • Introduction to generalised equations of motion for systems of multiple degrees of freedom; eigenvalue solution; aircraft mode shapes

    • Idealised aircraft structural dynamics models

    • Introduction to aerodynamic loads and the aeroelastic triangle

    • Steady manoeuvres, V-n diagrams, load factor

    • Wing load distributions and structural implications

    • Static aeroelasticity; divergence and control reversal

    • Gust response: sudden vertical and longitudinal gusts

    • Estimation of structural fatigue life due to flight cycles.

    • Dynamic aeroelasticity: introduction to flutter

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAM (2 hours) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

  • they can describe aspects of typical aircraft structures and hence the rationale for their idealization

  • they can analyze simplified aircraft structures through hand calculations

  • they can calculate shear flow distributions in thin-walled beam sections

  • they can describe the implications of fluid-structure interaction on aircraft analysis and design (final examination)

  • they can perform basic aerodynamic loads-related and aeroelastic hand calculations on simplified examples

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Examination [Learning Outcomes 1-6]

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative assessment - practice exam style questions - peer marked

  • Formative verbal feedback is given in lectures (group) and tutorials (individual)

  • Written feedback is given on the coursework (individual)

Module aims

  • an introduction to typical materials and features of (principally fixed-wing) aircraft structures and methods of stress analysis based on hand calculations
  • an understanding of the interaction between aerodynamic loads and structural deformations, as well as an introduction to the most important aeroelastic effects on aircraft
  • Understand how aircraft structures look and why
  • Analyse simple/idealize aircraft structures under bending and torsional loads
  • Understand and calculate the impact of aerodynamic loads on aircraft structures
  • Develop an understanding of static aeroelastic phenomenon and analyse divergence and control reversal of 2D problems
  • Develop an understanding of structural dynamics and introduce students to flutter

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe typical features of aircraft structures; K
002 Calculate shear stresses / shear flow distributions in thin walled simplified (boom-idealised wing and fuselage structures / non-idealised beam sections ; KC
003 Recognise physical phenomena associated with aircraft structural dynamics; KC
004 Identify and define key concepts related to structural dynamics, such as natural frequencies, mode shapes, structural damping and vibration characteristics of a/c structures KC
005 Formulate the equation of motion for the dynamic analysis of multiple degrees of freedom systems. KC
006 Understand basic static and dynamic aeroelastic problems, divergence, control reversal and flutter. KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Capture content

  • Guided learning

  • Lectures

  • Tutorials

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to consolidate and introduce new concepts to students. The methods used will include a range of passive and active learning methods. The former will be include through live lectures, in addition students will have access to captured content and guided learning with access to digital and hard copies of materials such as textbooks, videos, online content, etc. A weekly session will be dedicated to active learning activities, designed to exercise new concepts, using a variety of contexts and problems; students will be introduced to hand calculations and exposed to digital tools to assist and/or verify the analysis performed.


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: ENG2096

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 digital skills by using adequate engineering software and methods(MatLab, python); the module will improve the students employability by developing the fundamentals to solve aircraft structures related problems ; this module focus is underpinned by finding solutions that improve performance and produce more sustainable aircraft structures, by decreasing weight and complexity.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Aerospace Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Aerospace Engineering MEng 2 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 2025/6 academic year.