MEng Aerospace Engineering with Industrial Experience / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Aircraft Performance and Design

Course unit fact file
Unit code AERO20400
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates

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: 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. To develop an understanding of the design process by which new jet civil transport aircraft are produced and the technical, commercial, legal and environmental constraints that affect design decisions.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Report 50%

Feedback methods

via Blackboard

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 45
Lectures 48
Project supervision 12
Tutorials 48
Independent study hours
Independent study 47

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nicholas Bojdo Unit coordinator

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