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MEng Aerospace Engineering with Management / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Aircraft Performance & Stability

Unit code MACE20411
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Division (L5)
Available as a free choice unit? No


Aircraft Performance & Stability is a multi-disciplinary module on fixed-wing aircraft. It teaches basics of aerodynamics, propulsion, flight mechanics and the structure of the environment to develop an aircraft performance model that can be applied to a subsonic commercial aircraft. It covers fundamental concepts of the rigid-body aircraft and its degrees of freedom. The flight conditions considered include ground manoeuvre, take-off and landing, cruise condition, turning, and descent. The concept of static stability and trim, including calculation of the aircraft neutral points and aircraft manoeuvrability characteristics are also taught. By the end of the module, the student should have an understanding of why aircraft are designed differently depending upon the mission they are required to fly. The unit sets the context for future units of aircraft design, flight dynamics, and aerospace propulsion. An emphasis is placed on not only how to solve a problem, but how to construct the problem in the first place – a key requirement of an engineering degree. This means an ability to identify the objective, the dependent and independent variables, and the physics-based mathematical relationships that are needed to solve the problem.


 The aims of this unit are twofold:

To teach students to apply theory of rigid body mechanics to assess the static stability of an aircraft and build physics-based models to calculate the performance of an aircraft at all stages of its mission.

To equip students with the basic knowledge of flight mechanics, aircraft anatomy, and flight operations to be able to explain a flight mission and justify the aircraft performance in each stage.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written exam 80%
Report 8%
Practical skills assessment 2%

Other - assessed tutorial work

Feedback methods

Class feedback given after exam boards

Assessed tutorial work - Turnitin

Report - Verbally by GTAs


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 2
Tutorials 6
Work based learning 46
Independent study hours
Independent study 24

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nicholas Bojdo Unit coordinator

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