Aircraft Aerodynamics and Performance

AVA10007 12.5 Credit Points Hawthorn Available to incoming Study Abroad and Exchange students


  • One Semester

Contact hours

  • 48 hours

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning.

2021 teaching periods


Higher Ed. Semester 2

2 Aug 21 - 31 Oct 21

7 Dec 21

Last self enrolment:
15 Aug 21

31 Aug 21





Aims and objectives

To provide students with a fundamental knowledge of lift and drag for aircraft, high speed sub sonic (up to Mach 1.0) aerodynamics and the performance of aircraft with particular emphasis on turbojet and turboprop aircraft with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) greater than 5,700kg.

Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

1. Demonstrate their knowledge of airspeed through calculation and reading of tables and graphs while using Bernoulli’s equation, the ideal gas equation, the relationship between the speed of sound and air temperature, International Standard Atmosphere charts and airspeed error information.

2. Demonstrate their knowledge of Aerodynamic lift theory at subsonic, transonic and supersonic speeds associated with wings and high lift devices using graphs, lift equation, general formulae and tables to transform Aerofoil Lift data into a lift curve for a wing at various Reynolds Numbers and wing aspect ratios and taking into account Mach number and wing planforms including straight, tapered, swept and delta wings. This will be supported by their ability to explain in writing and through calculation the high speed aerodynamic terms including, Drag Divergence, Critical Mach Number, Crest critical Mach Number and Mach Angle.

3. Demonstrate their knowledge of drag and the components of drag (parasite, induced and Mach drag) at subsonic, transonic and supersonic speeds through the use of the drag and drag coefficient equations to construct the graphs for drag force and drag power to calculate and then apply this information to calculate the Lift on Drag Ratio at various airspeeds.

4. Demonstrate their knowledge of Longitudinal. Directional and Lateral Stability and Control through describing in writing the principles associated static and dynamic stability and such terms as positive static longitudinal stability, stick fixed, stick free and neutral point as well as dynamic oscillations such as Phugoid, S.P.O and Dutch Roll.

5. Demonstrate their knowledge of Cruise, Climb and Descent Performance for turbojet, turboprop and piston engine aircraft by using formulae and graphs to describe in writing and through calculation criteria for maximum range, maximum endurance, long range cruise, buffet boundaries, energy management, angle and rate of climb or descent, the condition for minimum glide angle, turning performance parameters such as bank angle, load factor, rate of turn and turn radius taking into account aircraft weight, altitude and engine type and performance. This includes the calculation of maximum range and long range cruise speed and describing how these speeds can be optimised

6. Demonstrate their knowledge of Payload – Range Optimisation through the construction of a payload range diagram that will allow them to solve a simple route analysis problem.

7. Demonstrate their knowledge of aircraft Take-off Performance through describing in writing factors that impact on take-off including V Speeds, MTOW, aircraft characteristics, ambient conditions, obstacles, One Engine inoperative take off parameters and associated distances, take off path segments, gross and net flight path descriptors. This will also be demonstrated through the calculation of take-off path climb gradients and minimum third segment heights.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) developed in this Unit
This Unit of Study will contribute to you attaining the following CLOs:
Demonstrate broad and coherent knowledge of Aviation Human Factors, Aviation Management and Aviation Technology to critically analyse and solve problems and implement solutions in global professional airline and aviation practice.