MAE3401 - Aerodynamics 2 - 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



Prof Greg Sheard (Clayton)

Dr Daniel Edgington-Mitchell (Clayton)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit develops further the students' physical understanding and analytical skills by including compressibility effects and the viscous nature of aerodynamic flows and translates that into the ability to formulate, analyse and solve very general aerodynamic problems. It covers control volume analysis of steady, one-dimensional, linear and nonlinear compressible flows. Nozzle flows. Steady, supersonic, two-dimensional linear and nonlinear flows. Linearised compressible subsonic and supersonic flow. Introduction to transonic and hypersonic flow. Control volume analysis of viscous incompressible flow, boundary layer flow and free shear flows like jets and wakes, including momentum integral analysis, similarity analysis and similarity solutions of these equations as they pertain to wall bounded and free shear flows. Application of this knowledge to simple design problems.


At the successful completion of this unit you will be able to:

  1. Formulate the equations governing compressible airflow, normal and oblique shocks and expansion fans using control volume analysis and the fundamental thermodynamic properties of gases
  2. Apply the quasi-1D approximation principle to design supersonic nozzles (e.g. rocket propulsion), wind tunnels and diffusers.
  3. Determine lift and drag on supersonic aerofoils using non-linear methods or linearised approximations as appropriate.
  4. Determine the governing equations for viscous boundary layer flows, and apply these equations to calculate the drag due to skin friction in laminar and turbulent boundary-layer flows.
  5. Determine engineering solutions for the aerodynamics of flight vehicles by synthesis of incompressible, compressible, inviscid and viscous flow theories


Continuous assessment comprising problem sets, assignments and laboratory reports: 30%, Examination: 70%.

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component (assignments, tests, mid-semester exams, laboratory reports) 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 pratical/laboratory and 7 hours of private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


MAE2404 and 18 engineering credit points at level two