Course Title: Flight Mechanics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Flight Mechanics

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Dr Anna Bourmistrova

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 8081

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B251.02.031

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

MIET2422 Fluid Mechanics of Mechanical Systems

Course Description

This course follows on from the study of fluid mechanics in first year, and introduces concepts and application of aircraft flight mechanics. The governing equations for aircraft flight stability and control are presented, and used to analyse the flight performance of aircraft in different situations. Analysis of a range of aerodynamic problems relevant to aircraft is covered using analytical and numerical techniques.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes:

Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline
• In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline
• Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources
• Effective oral and written communication in professional domains



Upon successful completion of the course, you should be able to

1. Derive concepts of frames of references and rotational matrices 2. Apply basic aerodynamic principles to analyse the aerodynamic characteristics of idealised representations of aircraft components and systems 3. Derive and apply the aircraft flight mechanics equations to analyse the flight performance of aircraft in different situations 4. Identify limitations of the aerodynamics and flight mechanics principles and equations as applied to aircraft  5. Derive and analyse principles of longitudinal and lateral static stability. Longitudinal derivatives. Lateral derivatives. Equations of motion and linearisation. 


Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include lectures, assignments, tutorials, wind tunnel laboratory experiment, and a final exam. 

Overview of Learning Resources

Course-related resources will be provided on the course Canvas site, which is accessed through myRMIT. This material can include lecture material, course notes, sample problem sheets and solutions, and references.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment item:  Quizzes  (individual)
Weighting of final grade:  20%
Related Course Learning Outcomes:  1, 2, 3
Description:  This assessment includes:
1. Reference Frames and Aircraft performance quiz. 
2. Aircraft performance and longitudinal stability quiz. 

Assessment item:  Assignment 2 (individual)
Weighting of final grade:  15%
Related Course Learning Outcomes: 3 & 4 
Description:  Longitudinal and Lateral Stability & Control

Assessment item: Longitudinal Stability Laboratory Assignment 2 (group)
Weighting of final grade:  15%
Related Course Learning Outcomes: 4
Description: Students form groups to run wind-tunnel experiment. Based on obtained data, students estimate corresponding stability and control derivatives. In the report experimental data is compared with theoretical calculations.

Assessment item:  Final Exam (individual)
Weighting of final grade:  50%
Related Course Learning Outcomes:  1- 5
Description:  2 hour closed book exam during examination period.