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MAE3401 - Aerodynamics

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Engineering

Leader: J Soria


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit aims to develop knowledge of fundamental fluid mechanics in order to subsequently develop theories associated with the lift and drag forces acting on an aircraft. The Navier Stokes equations are presented and from this, theories to determine the aerodynamic lift and drag are developed. Practical elements of wing design are considered which may improve lift/drag characteristics beyond that predicted by the theoretical considerations. Compressible flow concepts are introduced, in particular 1D normal shock waves, and 2D normal and oblique shock waves are presented. Helicopter flight is presented as a special topic before boundary layer theory is presented in detail.


On completion of this unit students should be able to: Develop and recognise the momentum equations in differential and integral form
Apply an order of magnitude argument to simplify these equations to a form appropriate for a given problem - specifically the analysis of boundary-layer flows
Solve Prandtl's boundary-layer equations for simple problems using the principle of self-similarity
Employ numerical techniques to predict the separation point in a boundary-layer
Obtain quantitative estimates of the drag and boundary-layer thickness for wholly laminar, turbulent, and mixed boundary-layers
Understand the structure and properties of flow within a turbulent boundary-layer
Make qualitative predictions of the interaction between shock waves and boundary layers in compressible flows
Understand the theory behind, and application of, the various methods for control of a boundary-layer on an aerofoil
Use momentum analysis to predict required conditions for helicopter flight
Appreciate the techniques and methods available to compute aerodynamic flows, and under what conditions they are valid
Estimate properties of a realistic wing through application of finite wing theory.


Assignments 30%
Laboratory 20%
Examination (3 hours): 50%

Contact hours

3 hours of lectures, 2 hours of practical classes and 7 hours of private study per week and 4 hours laboratory testing per semester


ENG2091, ENG2092 and MEC2404