MAE2404 - Aerodynamics 1 - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Assoc Professor Gregory Sheard

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit develops the student's physical and analytical understanding of the bases for aerodynamic flows and translates that into the ability to formulate, analyse and solve aerodynamic problems. It covers an introduction to the concept of a fluid and the continuum hypothesis. Definition of aerodynamic variables and coefficients. Introduction and description of fluid flow kinematics, and the application of this knowledge to the design and use of pumps, fans and compressors. Introduction of conservation principles and their application to the development of the governing equations for incompressible inviscid aerodynamic flows based on the ideas of control mass and control volume. Development of Bernoulli's equation. Solution of the governing Laplace equation for fundamental potential flows and the application of the principle of superposition to derive the solution of complex aerodynamic flows. Development and application of thin airfoil theory for infinite wings, and lifting line theory for finite wings. Introduction to the panel method for the analyses of general three-dimensional incompressible inviscid flow over twisted and delta wings.


  1. To be able to formulate and analyse aerodynamics problems and to be able to calculate the forces on aerodynamic bodies.
  2. Use control volumes to predict aerodynamic behaviour with particular regard to the conservation principles of mass, momentum and energy.
  3. Use dimensional analysis and modelling to plan experiments, to present results meaningfully and to predict prototype performance.
  4. Calculate lift and drag forces for bodies subjected to inviscid incompressible aerodynamic motion.
  5. Compute flow rates and pressure drops in pipe networks under steady state conditions.
  6. Understand the typical operation and applications of pumps, fans, compressors and turbines, their capabilities and limitations, and operating parameters that significantly affect performance.
  7. Calculate the lift and drag on vehicles of different geometries travelling at a variety of speeds.
  8. To be able to solve problems by defining the problem using the discipline theory taught and applying mathematical and other methods taught throughout the curriculum.


Continuous assessment: 40%

Final Examination (2 hours): 60%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

3 hours lectures, 2 hours of practical/lab and 7 hours of private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)