Aircraft Flight Mechanics and Aerodynamics Stability and Control

MECH&AE 830.42

The primary objective of this course is to introduce the subject of Flight Mechanics, as applied to atmospheric, fixed-wing, flight vehicles, and to provide a clear understanding of related topics, specifically Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Performance, Static and Dynamic Stability, and Flight Controls.  

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About this course:

The primary objective of this course is to introduce the subject of Flight Mechanics, as applied to atmospheric, fixed-wing, flight vehicles, and to provide a clear understanding of related topics, specifically Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Performance, Static and Dynamic Stability, and Flight Controls.  The course starts with a historical overview of the development of flight, followed by a brief review of aerodynamic and propulsion principles, before shifting the focus onto aircraft performance, stability and control, and flight controls.  Both the theory and practical methods for designing and analyzing fixed-wing aircraft for a wide range of applications will be examined, citing real-world examples that are based on the instructor’s extensive experience in the aerospace industry. Topics related to Aircraft Performance content include takeoff, climb, turning, landing, range/endurance, and power curves. Topics related to Aircraft Stability and Control/Flight Controls include the longitudinal and lateral-directional equations of motion and their derivation from Newton’s principles, linearization and practical application of the equations of motion, aircraft static and dynamic stability, linear/nonlinear systems, time and frequency domain analysis, longitudinal and lateral-directional modal characteristics, Flying Qualities design requirements, Handling Qualities assessments, including Pilot-in-the-Loop Simulation Tests and Cooper-Harper/Pilot-Induced Oscillation rating scales, classical feedback control, stability and control augmentation of unstable airframes, and system integration and testing.  The importance of key parameters and principles will be further highlighted using examples of actual aircraft accidents.  The equations of motions will also be modeled in a representative Matlab simulation in order to better illustrate the effects of key stability coefficients/derivatives on the overall aircraft response characteristics.

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