Year 2

The second year continues to focus on lecture and laboratory based work. Engineering requires a great deal of background technical knowledge, and this is the best way to cover it.

In your second year you will extend the practical experience gained in the first year projects, so we build on this with our aluminium wing task. This is a much larger piece of work, involving more team members, and bringing together the theoretical work that you will have already covered.

For a complete list of Aerospace second year units, please visit the Undergraduate prospectus. This page is intended to give highlights of the engineering work you will being covering rather than a full listing of modules.

Aluminium wing project

Traditionally, aircraft were built using alloys of aluminium and (most commonly) riveting. Although modern techniques and materials are making this type of construction less common it remains a key pillar of design with which any aerospace engineer must be familiar.

Our aluminium wing task brings together the structural and aerodynamic material you will have learnt in your first year. You will be working in a group of around 20 to design, build and test a 1.5m x 0.5m aluminium wing of aircraft-realistic construction. Tasks include:

  • Aerodynamic predictions: what lift:drag ratio will your wing achieve? What maximum lift coefficient can it provide for landing? Which aerofoil section should you choose?
  • Structural predictions: how much does the wingtip bend when you load it, and what is the highest load it can safely tolerate?
  • Design of mechanisms to actuate the slat and flap components (these deploy to increase the maximum lift coefficient at low speeds): which actuator design will you use? How will you program the software and how will you arrange the hardware?
  • Design of the electrical system to power the actuators;
  • Full drawing of the parts in CAD: this includes thinking about the assembly procedure – which parts are fitted first?
  • Design and construction in CAD of the assembly jig to hold components in place during final mounting and riveting: you need your design to be the designed shape, which requires holding the parts in place while they are fixed. This is similar to building a real aircraft – tools and jigs are expensive and complicated to build, but fundamental to the process.

Combining the theoretical understanding of engineering with hands on workshops has taught us the ability to solve complex problems in a practical fashion.

Daniel Stoops (Aerospace Engineering)
Aluminium wing project

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