MAE3404 - Flight vehicle dynamics - 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


Professor Bijan Shirinzadeh

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces the student to the fundamental aspects in flight dynamics. The requirements and associated equations for static equilibrium and trim are developed. Further, these equations are treated to describe longitudinal static stability and lateral static stability. Performance and flying handling will be introduced. The equations of motion of a rigid vehicle are developed, together with the solution of these and introduction to state space model. The role of small perturbations, aerodynamic force and moment derivatives, aerodynamic control inputs will be established, together with linearised equations. The description of aircraft attitude and Euler angles are presented. The basis and formulations for lateral and longitudinal dynamics and stability will be developed. Control of aircrafts will also be introduced.


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

  1. Analyse static and dynamic forces and moments acting on a flight vehicle and apply governing equations in the design of flight vehicles.
  2. Determine forces, moments, and statistical characteristics, and classify governing longitudinal, lateral and directional static stability of a flight vehicle.
  3. Analyse longitudinal and lateral dynamics of a vehicle, and compute aircraft's response.
  4. Determine longitudinal and lateral state models of flight vehicles, and predict the modes and their characteristics.
  5. Formulate non-linear equations of motion and their linearisation, and analyse response models for flight vehicles.
  6. Formulate and analyse the flight vehicle's dynamic characteristics and the control requirements for the design, testing and operation of the flight vehicle.


Assignments/tutorials: 30% + Examination (3 hours): 70%

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 practice sessions/laboratories and 7 hours of private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


(MTH2021 and MTH2032) or ENG2091 or ENG2092 or ENG2005 and MEC2401