Foundations of Propulsion Systems (AERO5211)


This unit aims to develop an understanding of the modern techniques used for aircraft propulsion. Students will gain skills in problem solving for aircraft propulsion systems ranging from propellers, gas-turbine engines to rockets. This unit of study teaches the students the techniques used to propel aircraft and rockets. The students will learn to analyse various propulsion systems in use: propellers, gas turbines, rocket motors. Course content will include: Propulsion unit requirements subsonic and supersonic flight; thrust components, efficiencies, additive drag of intakes; Piston engine components and operation; Propeller theory; Operation, components and cycle analysis of gas turbine engines, turbojets, turbofans, turboprops, ramjets; Components: compressor; fan; burner; turbine; nozzle, efficiency of components; off-design considerations; Operation, components and thermodynamics of rocket motors; Dynamics of rocket flight, orbital velocity; staging; Future directions; minimisation of noise and pollution; sub-orbital propulsion systems; scram-jets; hybrid engines.

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Further unit of study information


Three 1hr lectures and one 2hr tutorial per week


Through semester assessment (40%), Final Exam (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

Prerequisite: Assumed knowledge: Mathematics and Physics to a level of Bachelor of Science or equivalent., AERO5200

Prerequisite: Assumed knowledge: Mathematics and Physics to a level of Bachelor of Science or equivalent.

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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.

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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.

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