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,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

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


Course Description

This course follows on from the study of Dynamics and Introduction to Aerodynamics,  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 this 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, and equations of motion and linearisation. 


Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities will include lectorials, tutorials, assignments and on-line quizzes.

Overview of Learning Resources

Course-related resources will be provided on the course Canvas site, which is accessed through myRMIT. This material includes pre-recorded lectures, course notes, sample problem sheets and solutions, and reading lists.

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 1 (individual) and Assignment 2 (group)
Weighting of final grade:  30%
Related Course Learning Outcomes: 3 & 4 
Assignment 1 Description:  Longitudinal and Lateral Stability & Control

Assignment 2 Description: Students form groups to analyse wind-tunnel experiment data. Based on data, students estimate corresponding stability and control derivatives. In the report experimental data is compared with theoretical calculations.

Assessment Item:  Homework
Weighting of final grade: 10%
Related Course Learning Outcomes: 1-5
Homework Description: Students complete weekly homework across the whole semester

Assessment item: Final Assignment (individual)
Weighting of final grade: 40%
Related Course Learning Outcomes:  1- 5
Description: 180 MIN assignment during examination period.