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Unit information: Introduction to Aeronautics in 2015/16

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Unit name Introduction to Aeronautics
Unit code AENGM9001
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Moses
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


The module introduces the delegate to the whole field of aeronautics, aerospace engineering and the aerospace business in the widest sense. It also introduces the modular MSc programme and provides a background to prepare students for the subsequent core modules. On completion of the module and assignment work, the delegates should be able to show: An appreciation of the significant factors, which influence the design of a modern aircraft or helicopter; Successful completion of simple aircraft performance design calculations; A broad understanding of the requirements for a successful aerospace industry and associated research activity; Preparation for subsequent Core modules in aerodynamics, aircraft structures and avionics.

The aim of this unit is to provide familiarity with the fundamental issues, both technical and business, which influence the design of aerospace vehicles (fixed- and rotor-winged aircraft, and spacecraft). The students will have an appreciation of the global aerospace business, the pressure upon it and understand their own role within it.

This unit aims to ensure students both understand and can implement the basic principles of aerospace design and its associated processes.

This unit is intended for engineers in the aerospace industry, designers, project managers and educators who have a requirement to understand the fundamentals of aeronautics. It is specifically aimed at students whose first degree did not contain a significant aerospace element, yet who have had some work experience in the field. For this group it is mandatory for completion of the CPDA MSc. Students with a BEng in Aeronautical Engineering, or similar, are exempt from this requirement.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, participants will:

" Have demonstrated understanding of the significant technical and business factors which influence the design of a modern aircraft, helicopter or spacecraft.

" Have successfully completed simple aircraft performance design calculations

" Have a broad understanding of the requirements for a successful aerospace industry and associated research activity

" Be able to demonstrate and apply their knowledge within their own working environment

" Be adequately prepared for subsequent Core units in aerodynamics, aircraft structures and avionics.

Teaching details

Directed pre-unit reading from the text book Aircraft Flight by Barnard & Philpot which will be supplied to the student prior to this unit commencing. This ensures basic facts and definitions are already understood at the start of the unit.

Day 1:

" the aerospace business

" aeronautics

" aircraft materials

" lessons from history

Day 2:

" Propulsion

" CFD & its application

" Visit to and lecture at Aircraft Structures lab.

Day 3:

" Aircraft flight mechanics

" Aeronautics

" Rotary winged aircraft

" Aircraft Manufacture

" Space Systems

Day 4:

" Aeronautics

" Commercial aircraft design process

" Avionics Systems

" Visits to the Materials and Aerodynamics (wind tunnel) labs.

Day 5:

" Aeronautics

" Aeronautics Case Study Work

" The Future

Assessment Details

Post-unit assignment will be set, requiring 3000  5000 words. This will consist of :

(a) a design/performance exercise on a subject covering the range of disciplines included in the unit

(b) a review of a particular technical aspect

(c) an essay on a specific topic, to include both technical and business implications. Choice of topic facilitates a company-oriented approach.

a) and b) form Element A.

c) forms Element B.

Reading and References

1. Aircraft Flight by Barnard & Philpot

2. Aerodynamics for Engineering Students, 4th ed. (1993) by Houghton and Carpenter