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MAE3404 - Flight vehicle dynamics

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Engineering

Leader: B Shirinzadeh


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit introduces the student to the principal areas of aerospace dynamics: atmospheric, transitional, and space flight dynamics. The role of aerodynamic forces acting on an aircraft leads to the development of the equations describing static longitudinal stability, as well as lateral and directional stability. These ideas are extended to consider vehicles transitioning from atmospheric to space travel; atmospheric models, gravitational fields and the kinematics and dynamics of motion in transitional flight are considered, as are the dynamics of atmospheric re-entry. Finally orbital manoeuvres, ballistic, and inter-planetary trajectories are considered.


Knowledge of the dynamic forces acting on a flight vehicle in different flight environments, and an awareness of the use of equations governing dynamics in the design and use of flight vehicles in industry.
An understanding of the aeronautical forces, through an understanding of finite wing theory, which contribute to the stability derivatives acting on an aircraft.
An awareness of the development and use of equations governing longitudinal, lateral and directional static stability of an airplane.
An understanding of rigid body dynamics and kinematics with focus on aircraft dynamics.
Knowledge and understanding of transitional and space vehicle dynamics.
The ability to design and develop flight vehicles through an understanding of the underlying forces imposed on the vehicle structure.
The ability to develop equations of motion necessary for the successful operation of flight vehicles in atmospheric, orbital and trans-planetary flight.
Appreciation of the role of flight vehicle dynamics in the design, testing and operation of flight vehicles.
Confidence in designing and operating flight vehicles
An appreciation of the fundamental principles underlying solid-body kinematics and dynamics for use in a general engineering workplace environment.


Practice class/laboratories: 10%
Assignments 20%
Examination (3 hours): 70%

Contact hours

Six hours of contact time per week (usually 3 hours lectures and 3 hours practice sessions or laboratories) and 6 hours of private study per week


ENG2091, ENG2092, MEC2401