Course Title: Aerodynamics I

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2010

Course Code: AERO5389

Course Title: Aerodynamics I

School: 130T Engineering (TAFE)

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6011 - Advanced Diploma of Engineering (Aerospace)

Course Contact : Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4468

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Amir Zokaei Fard
Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4184
Contact Email:

Nominal Hours: 60

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

MATH5156 Aerospace Mathematics 1
ONPS5098 Aerospace Physics 1
AERO5383 Theory of Flight

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide participants with underpinning knowledge of low speed aerodynamic theory, stability and control.
This course develops the fundamental knowledge in the aerodynamic principles of flight including:
• Flight
• Longitudinal, lateral and directional static stability
• Steady, straight, gliding, power, thrust and climb calculations.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBH736 Aerodynamics I

Learning Outcomes

1. Measure, draw, discuss and interpret the distribution of aerodynamic forces on a subsonic two dimensional aerofoil.
2. Discuss and perform aerodynamic calculations for airflow boundary layer over flat thin plate.
3. Graph and discuss the relationship between drag, speed and altitude.
4. Perform calculations relating to subsonic airspeed measurement.
5. Observe measure and discuss the effectiveness of various lift augmentation devices.
6. Discuss and graph aspects of aircraft longitudinal static stability and related factors.
7. Discuss and graph factors that affect the lateral and directional stability of an aircraft and perform related calculations.
8. Discuss and perform calculations relating to steady straight and level flight.
9. Discuss and perform calculations relating to steady gliding flight.
10. Discuss, graph and perform calculations involving power and thrust.
11. Discuss, graph and perform aerodynamic calculations for steady climbing flight.

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, boundary layers and skin friction, effect of speed and altitude on aircraft drag, measurement of subsonic airspeed, lift augmentation devices, Tail load, aircraft static stability, Analysis of aircraft performance in steady glide and steady climb and, relation between various propulsion system on aircraft performance.

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

Lecture: The lectures are 200 minutes long- with two 20 minutes breaks in between- and take place once a week. 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

Week 1: Aerofoil recognition; Pressure distribution around a 2D subsonic aerofoil at various angle of attack
Week 2: Calculation of centre of pressure, Lift coefficient and pitching moment coefficient from wind tunnel tests measurement
Week 3: Bernoulli’s equation and subsonic airspeed measurement
Week 4: Boundary layer and aircraft features designed to influence boundary layer flow
Week 5: Relationship between drag, speed and altitude
Week 6: Effectiveness of various lift augmentation devices
Week 7: Revision
Week 8: Mid term exam
Week 9: Tail load calculation
Week 10: Longitudinal static stability
Week 11: Lateral and directional static stability
Week 12: Calculations relating to steady gliding flight
Week 13: Effect of power and thrust on aircraft performance
Week 14: Aerodynamic calculations for steady climbing flight
Week 15: Revision
Week 16: End of term exam

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Anderson, J.D., 2005, Introduction to Flight, 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill., ISBN 0072825693

The course books can be obtained from RMIT Bookshop. Other related resources such as study guides, problem sheets and formula sheets 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).


Barnard, R.H., Philpott D.R., “Aircraft Flight ”, 3rd Edition, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004.
Kermode, A.C., 1996, Mechanics of Flight, Longman Press., ISBN 0582237408
Hurt, H.H. Jr., 1992, Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators, Aviation Supplies & Academics, ISBN 0-89100-370-3
Smith, H.C., 1991, Illustrated Guide to Aerodynamics, 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0830639012

Other Resources

Bertin, J.J & Cummings, R.M., 2009, Aerodynamics for Engineers, Prentice Hall, ISBN-13 978-0-13-227268
Clancy, L.D., 1986, Aerodynamics, Longman Scientific and Technical, ISBN 0582988802
Haughton E.L., 2003, Aerodynamics for Engineering Students, 5th Edition, Elsevier, ISBN 0-7506-5111-3
Shevell, R.S. 1989, Fundamentals of Flight, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0133390608

Overview of Assessment

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

Assessment Tasks

You will be assessed in various ways to ensure you meet the requirements of the course. Your ability to explain the principles of various topics and apply the aerodynamic theory to of fixed wing aircraft will be tested through individual assignments and exam works. Successful graduation from the course is achieved when the student attains at least 50% of total mark AND his/her accumulation of exams marks is NOT less than 50% of total exams mark.

Assessment Matrix

Contribution of each task towards the final result is as follows:

Attendence and contribution to class discussions: 10%
Phase Tests: Two Assignments (These two assignments will not be marked and do NOT carry any mark towards the final result, except for those students whose total mark for the course is between 44 and 49.)
Two Written examination: 90%.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview