Course Title: Apply basic aircraft design characteristics

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: AERO5819C

Course Title: Apply basic aircraft design characteristics

School: 130T Vocational Engineering

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6114 - Advanced Diploma of Engineering

Course Contact: Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4468

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Amir Zokaei Fard

+61 3 99254184

Nominal Hours: 120

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

(MEA101A Interpret occupational health and safety practices in maintenance
MEA107A Interpret and use industry manuals and specifications
MEA109A Perform basic hand skills, standard trade practices and fundamentals)

Course Description

This unit is part of Diploma and Advanced Diploma training pathways. It covers the aerodynamic shape and structure of aircraft.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MEA341A Apply basic aircraft design characteristics


1. Research and evaluate aeroplane aerodynamic shape

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Common wing plan forms are identified and relative advantages and disadvantages are evaluated.
1.2. Common wing configurations are identified and relative advantages and disadvantages are     identified.
1.3. Aerofoil characteristics are discussed in terms of aircraft performance.
1.4. Aeroplane .stability and control is discussed in terms of aerodynamic design.
1.5. Types of primary and secondary flight control surfaces are identified and control balancing is discussed.
1.6. Types of lift augmentation device are identified and compared.
1.7. Factors that affect an aircraft in subsonic and high speed flight are identified.


2. Research and evaluate rotary wing aerodynamic design

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Identify common rotor configurations and discuss their aerodynamic characteristics
2.2. Discuss rotary wing aircraft control and stability.


3. Research and evaluate basic aircraft structural design

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Identify the loads acting on an aircraft structure.
3.2. Identify and compare the methods of construction of airframes and power plant support structures.
3.3. Identify the materials of construction commonly used in aircraft structures and discuss their relative advantages and disadvantages.
3.4. Fabrication methods commonly used in aircraft structure are identified and discussed.
3.5. Maintenance requirements for aircraft structure are identified.


4. Research and evaluate basic landing gear design and construction.

Performance Criteria:

4.1. The configurations of landing gear are identified and discussed in terms of relative advantages and  disadvantages.
4.2. The relative benefits of fixed and retractable landing gear are identified and discussed.
4.3. Construction materials used in landing gear components are identified and discussed.


5. Apply basic aircraft design characteristics

Performance Criteria:

5.1. Given required aircraft use and performance characteristics determine an appropriate aerodynamic shape.
5.2. An appropriate method of construction, materials of construction and fabrication method are proposed.
5.3. An appropriate landing gear configuration is proposed.

Learning Outcomes


Details of Learning Activities

The learning activities in this course are designed to equip students with knowledge and skills in the principles of subsonic aerodynamics including 2D aerofoil and 3D wing, drag, flaps, control surfaces, aircraft static stability, the loads acting on aircraft structure, landing gear configuration, materials and methods of construction of airframes and characteristics of supersonic flows.

The course will be using a number of means such as lectures, reading tasks and assignments to achieve these objectives.

Lecture: The lectures are 240 minutes long- with two 20 minutes breaks in between on Fridays- and 120 minutes long- with 15 minute break in between on Mondays. We lecture mainly using Microsoft® PowerPoint slides, but enhance the material with some active learning exercises.
Readings: The readings will use the recommended textbooks and give an overview of the published literature in the field. Normally readings are assigned at the end of each lecture in preparation of the next lecture.
Assignments: The assignments will challenge the students and ensure that participants apply and deepen the theoretical knowledge from the lectures.

Teaching Schedule

Note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly teaching and assessment order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of resources.

Week 1 • Factors affect an aircraft in subsonic and high speed flight
Week 2 • Aerofoil characteristics and 3D wings (Design Specifications will be handed out)
Week 3 • Drag on Aircraft
Week 4 • Introduction to Lift Augmentation Systems
Week 5 • Introduction to Aircraft Control and Static Stability
Week 6 • Loads Acting on the Aircraft and Basic Aircraft Structure
Week 7 • Introduction to landing Gear Design
Week 8 • Rotary Wing Aircraft
Week 9 • Revision
Week 10 • Exam (Assignment task will be handed out)
Week 11 • Estimation of Lift Coefficient of 2D and 3D Wings
Week 12 • Estimation of Drag Coefficients of 2D and 3D Wings
Week 13 • Estimation of Range and Endurance of Aircraft (Power off)
Week 14 • Aircraft in Steady climb
Week 15 • Tail load Calculation-part 1
Week 16 • Tail load Calculation-part 2 (Assignment Task Due)
Week 17 • Revision

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

No text book is prescribed for this course, however, other related resources such as handouts, exercises, study guides, generated by the course lecturer and approved links to useful material on external web-sites will be provided on the RMIT Distributed Learning System (DLS).


1. Barnard, R.H., Philpott D.R., “Aircraft Flight ”, 3rd Edition, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004.
2. Kermode, A.C.,”Mechanics of Flight”, 10th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2004.

Other Resources

1. Anderson, D.F., “Understanding Flight”, McGraw-Hill, 2001.
2. Burton, M., “Principles of Flight”, Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1997.
3. Carpenter, C.”Flightwisw Volume 1: Principles of Aircraft Flight“, Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1997.
4. Carpenter, C.”Flightwisw Volume 2: Aircraft Stability and Control“, Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1997.
5. Talay, Theodore A., Introduction to Aerodynamics of Flight, NASA-Sp-367, 1975
6. Airfarme and Powerplant Mechanics. Airframe Handbook. EA-AC65-15A, Federal Aviation Administration Publishing, Washington DC, USA.
7. Airfarme and Powerplant Mechanics. General Handbook. EA-AC65-9A, Federal Aviation Administration Publishing, Washington DC, USA.
8. Crane, D. Airframe section Textbook. EA-ITP-AB, Aviation Maintenance Publishers, Basin, Wyoming, 1995.
9. Delp, Bent & Mckinley. Aircraft Maintenance and Repair. 5th Edition, McGraw Hill, New York, 1987.
10. Foye, J. Aircraft Technical Dictionary. 3rd Edition, Casper, Wyoming, 1990.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment may incorporate a variety of methods including written/oral activities and demonstration of practical skills to the relevant industry standards. Participants are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment activities to their teacher/assessor. Feedback will be provided throughout the course.

Assessment Tasks

Successful graduation from the course is achieved when you demonstrate competency in ALL elements of the unit as specified in the assessment tasks by the criteria, including required knowledge, and be capable of applying the competency in new and different situations and contexts.

Only if you have attained competency for ALL elements, will you be graded according to your performance on each of your assessment tasks. The % contribution of each assessment task towards the final result is as follows:

1- Quizzes 15%
2- Assignment 30%
3- Exam 55%

Assessment Matrix

Assessment Task                    Element             Performance Criteria
Three Quizzes                             1-4                               1.1 to 1.7
                                                                                            2.1 and 2.2
                                                                                            3.1. to 3.5.
                                                                                            4.1 to 4.3

One assignment Portfolio        1-5                              1.1 to 1.7
                                                                                           2.1 and 2.2
                                                                                           3.1. to 3.5.
                                                                                           4.1 to 4.3
                                                                                           5.1 to 5.3

Written Exam                              1-5                              1.1 to 1.7
                                                                                          2.1 and 2.2
                                                                                          3.1. to 3.5.
                                                                                          4.1 to 4.3
                                                                                          5.1 to 5.3

Other Information

Study and learning Support:

Study and Learning Centre (SLC) provides free learning and academic development advice to you.
Services offered by SLC to support your numeracy and literacy skills are:

assignment writing, thesis writing and study skills advice
maths and science developmental support and advice
English language development

Please Refer to find more information about Study and learning Support

Disability Liaison Unit:

If you are suffering from long-term medical condition or disability, you should contact Disability Liaison Unit to seek advice and
support to complete your studies.

Please Refer to find more information about services offered by Disability Liaison Unit

Late submission:

If you require an Extension of Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) for 7 calendar days or less (from the original due date) and have valid reasons, you must complete and lodge an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Senior Educator/ Program Manager.
The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. You will be notified within no more than 2 working days of the date of lodgment as to whether the extension has been granted.

If you seek an Extension of Submittable Work for more than 7 calendar days (from the original due date) must lodge an Application for Special
Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than 2 working days after the official due date.

Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or marked.

Special consideration:

If you miss an exam/test you may be eligible to apply for Special Consideration (within 48 hours thereof). Please Refer;ID=riderwtscifm to find more information about special consideration


Plagiarism is a form of cheating and it is very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University.

Please Refer: to find more information about plagiarism.

Other Information:

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT email address and you must regularly check your RMIT emails.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview