MEng Aerospace Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Aircraft Aerodynamics

Course unit fact file
Unit code AERO31321
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Aerodynamics is the study of the interaction of air and external surfaces of solid bodies moving through it. Aerodynamic knowledge is crucial for understanding flight and for the design of efficient flying configurations. This unit teaches the behaviour of 2D aerofoils, finite wings and aircraft in both low-speed and high-speed flows. It also teaches the fundamental knowledge and inviscid flow theories that enable engineering analysis of the generated forces and moments. The unit consists of twenty hours of lectures, four tutorial sessions and a two-hour wind tunnel lab session.


To impart in-depth understanding of the underlying physics for the aerodynamics of 2D aerofoils, finite wings and aircraft at subsonic, transonic and supersonic flight regimes.

To evaluate the forces and moments generated on 2D aerofoils, finite wings and aircraft for both subsonic and supersonic flows using classical aerodynamic theories and models.

To practise real aerodynamic measurements and complement understanding of the aerodynamic behaviours of a 2D aerofoil at subsonic speeds via wind tunnel experiments.


Part1: Basics Concepts, 5h Lec + 1 hr Tut

    • Aerofoil characteristics
    • Reynolds number
    • Centre of pressure and aerodynamic centre
    • Pressure and shear stress distributions
    • Aerofoil forces and moments
    • Aerodynamic force measurement in wind tunnels

Part 2: Incompressible Flow over 2D Aerofoils, 5h Lec + 1hr Tut

    • Introduction to inviscid flow theory
    • The four elementary flows
    • Basics of flow over a circular cylinder
    • Kutta-Jo

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 37.5%
Written exam 50%
Report 12.5%

3 x online quizzes 

Feedback methods

Exam - After the exam board meeting, individual student could request for viewing his/her exam paper with feedback provided by the lecturer.

Quiz - Marks available within a week of the quiz. 

Report - marks and feedback given at the end of each lab session 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Supervised time in studio/wksp 2
Tutorials 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 74

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mostafa Ahmed Nabawy Unit coordinator

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