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AERO5210: Foundations of Aerodynamics (2014 - Semester 2)

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Unit: AERO5210: Foundations of Aerodynamics (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Vio, Gareth
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit aims to develop in students a knowledge of the complex behaviour of airflow in the case of two dimensional aerofoil sections and three dimensional wings. To encourage hands-on experimentation with wind-tunnel tests to allow an understanding of these concepts and their range of applicability.

At the end of this unit students will be able to: predict flow properties for general aircraft wing sections to obtain lift, drag and pitching moment; extrapolate section results to predict full three dimensional wing behaviour; undertake experiments and analyse data to verify theoretical predictions; construct simple computer algorithms that will allow more complex geometries to be solved; understand the limitations of theory and the effect of second order parameters (Reynolds number, Mach Number) to the primary flow properties.

Course content will include: construction and designation of two dimensional aerofoil sections; point vortex model of aerofoil; Joukowski transformation theory; thin aerofoil theory; linear lift properties for sections; limiting effects such as stall; calcualtion of pitching moment coefficient; methods for estimation of boundary flow and friction drag calculations; viscous-inviscid panel method numerical solutions; modelling of three dimension wing flows; lifting line theory and vortex lattice method.; effects of downwash, aspect ratio, sweep angle and asymmetry.
Assumed Knowledge: Mathematics and Physics to the level of Bachelor of Science or equivalent. Linear Mathematics and Vector Calculus, Partial Differential Equations (Intro).
Lecturer/s: Dr Vio, Gareth
Tutor/s: Mr David Munk [email protected]

Mr Jonathan Jeyaratnam [email protected]

Mr Nicholas Giannelis [email protected]

Consulation hour: Tuesday 4-5 PM and during Tutorial Sessions
Timetable: AERO5210 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 3.00 3 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 4.00
4 Laboratory 3.00 1 3
T&L Activities: Tutorial: One 2hr Tut/Lab/Demo per week

Independent Study: In order to understand concepts and complete assignment work, students will need to allocate independent study time during the week.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Fundamental Principles of Aerodynamics will be taught. Expertise in this area is mandatory in this professional porgram. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
This unit will reinforce the fundamentals of fluid flow Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4)
Finding, studying and comprehending reference material. Applying reference material to current problems. Information Seeking (Level 3)
Written communication, in particular in the area of project specification and reporting skills. Communication (Level 2)
Review of case studies relating to local Engineering practice. Investigation of the consequences of aerodynamic design choices. Professional Conduct (Level 3)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
1. Predict flow properties for general aircraft wing sections to obtain lift, drag and pitching moment.
2. Extrapolate section results to predict full three-dimensional wing behaviour.
3. Undertake individual aerodynamic detailed analysis problem on unsteady flow.
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4)
4. Improved understanding of the use of software packages to solve fluid flow problems
5. Understand the limitations of theory and the effect of second-order parameters (Reynolds number, Mach Number) to the primary fluid-flow properties.
Information Seeking (Level 3)
6. Construct simple computer algorithms that will allow more complex geometries to be solved.
7. Undertake experiments and analyse data to verify theoretical predictions.
Communication (Level 2)
8. Ability to present results of experimental findings undertaken.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment No 10.00 Week 4 2, 4, 5, 7,
2 Assignment No 20.00 Week 8 1, 2, 6, 7,
3 Assignment No 10.00 Week 12 3, 4, 5, 6, 8,
4 Final Exam No 60.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 5,
Assessment Description: Assignment: Application of potential flow to aerofoil analysis. Verification of section results with wind tunnel expt.

Assignment: Analysis of wings using panel models and comparison with wind tunnel expts.

Assignment: Calculation of theory limits. Analysis of Boundary Layer and other second order components.

Final Exam: 2 hour examination at end of semester. Revision of theory and concepts. It is a requirement that to pass the course you must pass the exam.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Aerodynamics for Engineers
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
  • Aerodynamics for Engineering Students
  • Foundations of Aerodynamics
  • Fundamentals of Aerodynamics
  • Theory of Wing Sections
Note on Resources: Aerodynamics for Students :

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction, review of prior concepts; lift, drag, pitching moment, wing and section geometry, nondimensional coefficients and numbers.
Week 2 Ideal potential flow, complex velocity, circulation and lift. Two and three dimensional flows.
Week 3 Lifting flat-plate solutions, thin aerofoil theory.
Week 4 Boundary layer theory, pressure and friction drag.
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 5 Panel method solutions for aerofoil sections. Viscous/Inviscid interaction techniques.
Week 6 Aerofoil classes, laminar flow, supercritical. Typical properties. High Lift devices.
Week 7 Wind Tunnel and measurement correction techniques.
Week 8 Three-dimensional ideal flow, lifting line theory.
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 9 Vortex lattice methods.
Week 10 Low aspect ratio wing solutions.
Week 11 Effects of compressibility. Critical Mach number.
Week 12 Wing properties. Wing Fuselage interactions. Downwash effects.
Assessment Due: Assignment
Week 13 Revision.
STUVAC (Week 14) -
Exam Period -
Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Aerospace) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Project and Team Skills (Level 4) No 0%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 55%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4) Yes 29.5%
Information Seeking (Level 3) Yes 14.5%
Communication (Level 2) Yes 1%
Professional Conduct (Level 3) Yes 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.