Aims/Description: This module will introduce students to the basic concepts of aircraft and spacecraft design with a focus on systems engineering, interdisciplinary design and performance. Students will learn about the basic principles of flight and how performance can be calculated during a typical flight/mission including take-off, landing, climb, cruise and turning and orbital mechanics.The basic principles of systems engineering as an approach to aircraft design will be taught and the importance of considering aircraft design as an interdisciplinary design problem are covered and illustrated through the design, build and test activity. Students will undertake an exercise to design, build and test an aircraft, covering choices of materials, structures, aerodynamics, propulsion, avionics and control. Predictions of the aircraft performance will be undertaken in order to model the flight time or a similar parameter, being tested against the actual performance of the aircraft. They will also undertake a range of workshop practice elements in order to learn to operate and utilise appropriate building techniques for the aircraft, satisfying the requirements of ┐Workshop Practice┐ as required for accreditation. Students will be introduced to computer coding as an engineering tool, taught the basics of engineering drawing and computer aided design (CAD) and develop an appreciation of basic workshop tools (engineering applications).

Teaching Methods: Lectures, Problem solving, Laboratory work, Independent Study,
Assessment: Formal Exam, Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Aerospace course under IPE):

Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK