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Unit information: Aerodynamics in 2015/16

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Unit name Aerodynamics
Unit code AENG21100
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Gaitonde
Open unit status Not open

Fluids 1 (AENG 11101), Engineering Mathematics 1 (EMAT 10100)



School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

High speed flows and the effects of compressibility, fundamental ideas of aerofoil and wing theory, potential models for aerofoils and wings, introduction to helicopter aerodynamics.


To establish a basic understanding of fluid flows related to fixed and rotary wing aircraft. To provide fundamental tools and concepts required for experimental, theoretical and computational modelling.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this Unit, the student will:

  • understand the various levels of approximation used in aerodynamic modelling, and have an appreciation of their limitations.
  • be able to use 2D incompressible, inviscid theory to model the flow around simple bodies and aerofoils using thin aerofoil theory and panel methods.
  • be able to use 3D incompressible, inviscid theory to model the flow around finite wings, and understand the effect of planform on aerodynamic behaviour and on the generation of lift-dependent drag.
  • be able to use basic compressible flow theory to model simple 1D and 2D flows, and understand the impact of compressibility on intake and nozzle flows and on wing characteristics.
  • have an understanding of the application of fluid mechanics to aerodynamic design of rotary wing aircraft

Teaching Information

35 lectures of 1 hour 7 examples classes of 1 hour 2 laboratory classes of 3 hours

Assessment Information

A 70% – 3 hour examination in May/June B 9% – 3 assessed examples questions during the year C 12% – Lab Report: Chordwise Pressure Distribution (A1)and Linked MATLAB assignment D 9% – Technical Note: Compressible Flow (A2) and Linked MATLAB assignment

Reading and References

The primary recommended text is:

  • Anderson, J.D., Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, 2nd ed., 1991, McGraw-Hill

The following are also useful references:

  • Houghton, E.L. and Carpenter, P.W., Aerodynamics for Engineering Students, 4th ed., 1993, Edward Arnold.
  • Massey, B.S., Mechanics of Fluids, 6th ed., 1989, Von Nostrand Reinhold.
  • White, F.M., Fluid Mechanics, 3rd ed., 1994, McGraw-Hill.