Course Title: Aircraft Control

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2010

Course Code: AERO5399

Course Title: Aircraft Control

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

Course 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

AERO5389 Aerodynamics 1

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to provide training in aerodynamics and stability analysis, problem solving, and high-speed flight.
It provides a study in aircraft and control concepts and integrated control systems. Areas covered include automatic flight controls, multi axis stability and design and operation of power assisted controls.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBH738 Aircraft Control

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the aerodynamic derivatives employed in the aircraft equations of motion.
2. Explain aircraft longitudinal stability and the aerodynamic force and control factors that influence it.
3. Explain aircraft lateral dynamic stability.
4. Explain design considerations and operation of power assisted control systems.
5. Define Control System characteristics.
6. Use methods of analysis for control systems.
7. Explain the use of automatic flight controls on aircraft.
8. Explain aeroelastic effects on aircraft structures.

Details of Learning Activities

The learning activities in this course are designed to equip students with knowledge and skills in principles of aircraft control including determining longitudinal and lateral-directional dynamic stability of aeroplane, design consideration and methods of analysis of automatic flight controls and reviewing aeroelastic principles.

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

Lecture: The lectures are 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.
Assignments: The assignments will challenge the students and ensure that participants apply and deepen the theoretical knowledge from the lectures.

Teaching Schedule

Session One: Introduction, aircraft anatomy, aerodynamic forces & moment, stability and control- basic definitions, aircraft equations of motion, major aerodynamic derivatives employed in the aircraft equations of motion.

Session Two: Aircraft longitudinal stability and aerodynamic forces and control factors that influence it.

Session Three: Aircraft lateral and directional dynamic stability.

Session Four: Primary flight controls and power control systems.

Session Five: Control system characteristics.

Session Six: Methods of analysis for control systems.

Session Seven: Automatic flight controls on aircraft.

Session Eight: Aeroelastic effects on aircraft structures.

Session Nine: Revision.

Session Ten: Closed book exam.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Nelson, R.C., 1998, Flight stability and Automatic Control, McGraw-Hill.

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).


Pamadi, B. N., 2004, Performance, Stability, Dynamics, and Control of Airplanes, 2nd Ed., AIAA Education Series
Phillips, W. F., 2004, Mechanics of Flight, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0471334588
Etkin B., 1982, Dynamics of Flight Stability and Control, Wiley, N.Y.

Other Resources

Babister A.W., 1980 Aircraft Dynamic Stability and Response, Pergamon Press., ISBN 0080247687
D’Azzo J.J. and Houpis C.H., 1966, Feedback Control System Analysis and Synthesis, McGraw-Hill
Dickinson B., 1968, Aircraft Stability and Control for Pilots and Engineers, Pittman Press., ISBN273439103
Di Steffano, et al, 1976, Schaums, Outline Series Theory and Problems of Feedback and Control Systems, McGraw-Hill., ISBN 070843694
Kuo B.C., 1982, Automatic Control Systems, Prentice-Hall., ISBN 0130548170
McRuer D., et al., 1973, Aircraft Dynamics and Automatic Flight Control, Princeton University Press, ISBN 069108036
Stevens, B.L. and Lewis, F.L., 2003, Aircraft Control and Simulation, 2nd Ed., John Wiley & Sons

Overview of Assessment

To sucessfully 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

Assessment (2010)

Assignment: 30%

Closed book exam: 70%

The student will be assessed in various ways to meet the requirements of the course. The candidate’s ability to explain the principles of various topics and applying those principles will be tested through the assignment and exam. Successful graduation from the course is achieved when the student attains at least 50% of total mark AND his/her accumulation of  the marks is NOT less than 50% of both assessments.

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 Method

Learning Outcomes

Assignment1 to 830%
Closed book exam1 to 870%

Course Overview: Access Course Overview