Mechanics of Flight

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Mechanics of Flight

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Aerospace Engineering

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites


    Introduction to Flight Mechanics
    Aerospace Propulsion

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Mechanics of Flight (251 - 15344)
    Study: Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering
    Semester 2/Spring Semester
    3RD Year Course/Upper Division

    Students Are Expected to Have Completed:

    Introduction to Flight Mechanics
    Aerospace Propulsion

    Compentences and Skills that will be Acquired and Learning Results:

    Mechanics of Flight is designed to introduce students to the performance, stability, and control of aircraft. Particular attention is given to mathematical models and techniques for analysis, simulation of the aircraft motion, and evaluation of flying qualities, with brief discussion of guidance, navigation, and control. Topics include equations of motion, configuration aerodynamics, and longitudinal/lateral/directional motions.

    Description of Contents: Course Description

    1. Introduction to Mechanics of Flight
    1.1. Subject of Mechanics of Flight
    1.2. Elements of the Aircraft
    1.3. Aircraft Reference Geometry
    1.4. Reference Frames
    1.4.1. Basic Reference Frames
    1.4.2. Transformations
    1.5. Summary of vocabulary

    2. Equations of Motion
    2.1. Kinematics
    2.2. Dynamics
    2.3. External forces
    2.3.1. Aerodynamic Terms
    2.3.2. Propulsive Terms
    2.4. Examples

    3. Performances
    3.1. Level Flight and Gliding Flight
    3.2. Flight in Vertical Plane
    3.3. Turning Flight
    3.4. Takeoff and Landing
    3.5. Energy Methods
    3.6. High Speed Flight and Aircraft in Ground Effect

    4. Static Stability and Control
    4.1. Longitudinal Stability and Control
    4.1.1. Stick Fixed Conditions
    4.1.2. Stick Free Conditions
    4.1.3. In maneuver
    4.2. Lateral-Directional Stability and Control

    Learning Activities and Methodology:

    Theory sessions.
    Problem sessions working individually and in groups.
    Lab-sessions with simulation software.

    Assessment System:

    Final exam (60%)
    Practical problems with evaluation of reports and oral exam (40%)
    Required minimum mark on final exam: 4/10

    Basic Bibliography:

    Bernard Etkin and Lloyd D. Reid. Dynamics of Flight. Wiley. 1996
    Mario Asselin. An Introduction to Aircraft Performance. AIAA Educational Series. 1997

    Additional Bibliography:

    Alfred Cotterill Kermode. Mechanics of Flight. Longman. 1996
    Angelo Miele. Flight Mechanics, Vol.1 . Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.. 1962
    Bandu N. Pamadi. Performance, Stability, Dynamics and Control of Airplanes. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.. 2004
    Barnes Warnock McCormick. Aerodynamics Aeronautics and Flight Mechanics. Wiley. 1995
    Bernard Etkin. Dynamics of Atmosopheric Flight. Dover Publications. 2005
    Bernard Etkin, Lloyd D. Reid. Dynamics of Flight. Stability and Control. Wiley. 1996
    Cubierta delantera Barnes Warnock McCormick. Aerodynamics Aeronautics and Flight Mechanics. Wiley. 1995
    Francis J. Hale. Introduction to Aircraft Performance, Selection and Design. Wiley. 1984
    Holt Ashley. Engineering Analysis of Flight Vehicles. Courier Dover Publications. 1992
    M. V. Cook. Flight Dynamics Principles. Elsevier. 2007
    Mario Asselin. Introduction to Aircraft Performance. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 1997
    Robert C. Nelson. Flight Stability and Automatic Control. WCB/McGraw Hill. 1998
    Shiva Kumar Ojha. Flight Performance of Aircraft. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 1995

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.


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