Course Title: Design and Airworthiness of Helicopters

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Design and Airworthiness of Helicopters

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2008

Course Coordinator: Dr Arvind Sinha

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9645 4541

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Wackett Aerospace Centre, 850 Lorimer Street, Port Melbourne, Vic 3207

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This course requires AERO 2358 Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, AERO 2359 Introduction to Aerospace Structures and AERO 2355 Systems Engineering as pre-requisite courses.

Course Description

This course covers the conceptual design process for the rotary-wing platform (Helicopter) and regulatory issues associated with the platform.

The course covers a range of topics related to the operations (role & missions) mission systems technology, aerodynamics, structures, propulsion systems and the conceptual design methodology of the platform, including the airworthiness aspects. The various configurations of the rotary wing platform and its associated design features will be presented. Students will learn about the design process involved in the conceptual design of helicopters for a specific role and mission and the key airworthiness issues that need to be addressed.

The course will also address the helicopter technology status and the market, including futuristc design concepts.

This course introduces students to the first stage of the helicopter system life cycle – Conceptual design and development. It further introduces the regulatory issues associated with the airworthiness of the design. The course will adopt a holistic approach to role, mission, systems and performance analysis, for the design of the mission payload and the appropriate airframe.

The learning process is reinforced through assessment based on group assignment and project work.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Students will gain or improve capability in:

• Technical competence: this course prepares students to be able to conduct conceptual design of a helicopter, and assess its performance and airworthiness.
• Integrative Perspective: Students will be introduced to the evolution of the helicopter and its role and basic functional characteristics. Students will develop a holistic awareness of a range of factors that impact on helicopter function – aircraft aerodynamics and performance parameters; existence of limitations to the capabilities of an aircraft; structural design principles; aircraft materials; flight profile; regulations that apply to aircraft design.
• Professional Skills: student capabilities relating to communication and working in teams will be improved through group work in a design project, and through presentation of written and verbal reports.

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

• Demonstrate understanding of the conceptual design process of rotary wing platforms and its application to the design of a platform for a particular role and mission
• Demonstrate ability to address the various operational, structural, aerodynamic, propulsion, conceptual design and regulatory issues in the design process.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning is achieved through lectures, group project and seminar, assignment and a test. The course contains one design project in which students apply, in parallel with the class work, the rotary wing design process for the development of a conceptual design of a helicopter for a defined role and mission.

Overview of Learning Resources

Course notes will be made available to students.  Reference texts are available in the Library.

Overview of Assessment

Students will be assessed through group assignment, a project report and seminar, and a test.