Course Title: Theory Of Flight

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: AERO5383

Course Title: Theory Of Flight

School: 130T Engineering (TAFE)

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6011 - Advanced Diploma of Engineering (Aerospace)

Course Contact : Steven Bevan

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4137

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher:   Yadana Wai
Contact Details: Location:    City Campus, 57.5.20
Telephone: 9925 4461 Fax: 9925 8099

Nominal Hours: 40

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

Yr 10 or trade level mathematics

Course Description

The purpose of this learning unit is to provide competency based training to provide the student with the fundamental knowledge for understanding the principles of aerodynamics from subsonic through to supersonic flight. This course provides an understanding of:
• Airflow
• Conditions of flight
• Lift and forces
• Drag
• Wing theory
• Lift augmentation
• Aircraft control
• Balancing
• Stability
• Aircraft speed
• Experimental techniques
• Wind tunnel testing.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

NAM07 Theory of Flight

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe the effects and applicability of the terms and conditions relating to airflow
2. Explain the principles of operation relating to aerofoils and lift augmentation
3. Explain the conditions that relate to flight stability and control
4. Explain the factors that affect an aircraft in subsonic and high speed flight

Details of Learning Activities

Section 1: Wings and aerofoils

  • Introduction
  • Configuration and planform
  • Wing terminology
  • Wing planform
  • Aerofoil sections

Section 2: Airflow, lift, drag and lift augmentation

  • Introduction
  • Aircraft speed
  • Aerofoil lift and drag
  • Icing
  • Aerofoil characteristics
  • Lift augmentation
  • Boundary layer augumentation

Section 3: Forces acting on the aircraft, and conditions of flight

  • Introduction
  • Forces acting on the aircraft
  • Conditions of flight

Section 4: Aircraft Stability and Control

  • Introduction
  • Aircraft control axes
  • Primary flight controls
  • Aircraft control terms
  • Balancing
  • Secondary controls
  • Stability

Section 5: High-speed flight

  • Introduction
  • The speed of sound
  • Basic terminology of high-speed flight
  • Principles of high-speed airflow
  • Aircraft and wing design for high-speed flight

Teaching Schedule

Session 1: Course Introduction & Wings & Aerofoil Sections

Session 2: Airflow, lift, drag and lift augmentation

Session 3: Airflow, lift, drag and lift augmentation

Session 4: Laboratory – Smoke Tunnel Testing

Session 5: Laboratory – Smoke Tunnel Testing

Session 6: Forces acting on the aircraft, and conditions of flight

Session 7: Forces acting on the aircraft, and conditions of flight

Session 8:  Aircraft Stability and Control

Session 9: Aircraft Stability and Control

Session 10: High Speed Flight

Session 11: Revision time & Course Critique

Session 12: Closed Book Exam

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Module NAM 07 : Theory of Flight – Australian National Training Authority, Victoria 1997


Kermode, A.C., Mechanics of Flight. 9th Edition. Pitman Press, Bath 1990.

Other Resources

Class exercises

Overview of Assessment

To successfully complete this course the student is required to pass written assessment tasks and demonstrate skills and ability by completing pratical tasks to aerospace standard.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment  (2011)

  • Smoke Tunnel  Lab Testing and lab report (20%)
  • Assignment One (20%)
  • Assignment Two (20%)
  • Closed Book Exam (40 %)

Grading Criteria
NN 0-49% Fail
PA 50 – 59% Pass
CR 60 – 69% Credit
DI 70 – 79% Distinction
HD 80-100% High Distinction

Academic Misconduct

Students are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism in oral or written presentations is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing, as though it is one’s own. Plagiarism is not acceptable.

The use of another person’s work or ideas must be acknowledged. Failure to do so may result in charges of academic misconduct which carry a range of penalties including cancellation of results and exclusion from your course.

Students are responsible for ensuring that their work is kept in a secure place. It is also a disciplinary offence for students to allow their work to be plagiarised by another student. Students should be aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding the use of copyright material. It is strongly recommended that students refer to the RMIT 2001 Guidelines for Students or to the RMIT University Homepage.

Assessment Matrix

Assessment MethodLearning OutcomesPercentage
Smoke Tunnel Lab Testing and lab report1 and 220%
Assignment 1 to 420%
Closed Book Exam1 to 480%

Course Overview: Access Course Overview