Flight Mechanics 1 (AERO3560)


This unit aims to develop an understanding of aircraft longitudinal equilibrium, static stability, dynamic stability and response. Students will develop an understanding of the importance and significance of flight stability, will gain skills in dynamic system analysis and will learn mathematical tools used for prediction of aircraft flight behaviour. Students will gain skills in problem solving in the area of flight vehicle motion, and learn the fundamentals of flight simulation.
At the end of this unit students will be able to understand: aircraft flight conditions and equilibrium; the effects of aerodynamic and propulsive controls on equilibrium conditions; the significance of flight stability and its impact of aircraft operations and pilot workload; the meaning of aerodynamic stability derivatives and their sources; the effects of aerodynamic derivatives on flight stability; the impact of flight stability and trim on all atmospheric flight vehicles. Students will also be able to model aircraft flight characteristics using computational techniques and analyse the aircraft equations of rigid-body motion and to extract stability characteristics.
Unit content will include static longitudinal aircraft stability: origin of symmetric forces and moments; static and manoeuvring longitudinal stability, equilibrium and control of rigid aircraft; aerodynamic load effects of wings, stabilisers, fuselages and power plants; trailing edge aerodynamic controls; trimmed equilibrium condition; static margin; effect on static stability of free and reversible controls.

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Lectures, Tutorials, Laboratories


Through semester assessment (50%) and Final Exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


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Assumed knowledge

This Unit of Study builds on basic mechanics and aerodynamics material covered in previous units and focuses it towards the analysis and understanding of aircraft flight mechanics. It is expected that students have satisfactorily completed the following material: ENGG1802 Engineering Mechanics: Forces, moments, equilibrium, momentum, energy, linear and angular motion; AMME2500 Engineering Dynamics 1: Mechanisms, kinematics, frames of reference, mass and inertia, dynamics. If you struggled to pass MECH2500 and/or ENGG1802, you should spend some time revising the material of those Units of Study early in the semester.



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.