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AERO2703: Aircraft Performance and Operations (2020 - Semester 2)

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Unit: AERO2703: Aircraft Performance and Operations (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Intermediate
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Vio, Gareth
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: (MATH1001 OR MATH1021 OR MATH1901 OR MATH1921 OR MATH1906 OR MATH1931) AND (MATH1002 OR MATH1902) AND (MATH1003 OR MATH1023 OR MATH1903 OR MATH1923) AND ENGG1801.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit aims to develop in students an understanding of the fundamental concepts involved in the operation and performance of aircraft. The students will acquire an ability to make accurate and meaningful measurements of take-off, climb, cruise, turn, descent and landing performance; to perform weight and balance calculations; to understand the use of aerodynamic derivatives and their impact on aircraft performance. Students will be shown methods to optimise performance for specific missions. The unit will also cover modern issues such as airport congestion, noise restrictions, aviation certification requirements for the use of different aircraft categories and novel methods of solving these problems.
Assumed Knowledge: AERO1560 OR ENGG1800. Familiarity with fundamental Aerospace concepts.
Lecturer/s: Giannelis, Nicholas
Timetable: AERO2703 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 2 13
2 Tutorial 3.00 1 12
3 Independent Study 5.00
T&L Activities: Lectures : Two 1hr Lectures per week.

Tutorial: Descriptive Tutorials with examples, project work on open ended problems to encourage innovation in the area of aircraft operations.

Session Duration 3hrs.

Independent Study: In order to complete assignments and to understand the concepts and applications presented students will be required to engage in self-study.

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.

(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2)
1. Ability to investigate available literature in order to build up background information on set problems. This may be done using library and/or on-line resources.
2. Ability to report and present project outcomes to a group of colleagues.
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3)
3. Work as a team to efficiently manage a project and produce an acceptable result. Meet set deadlines.
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2)
4. Understanding of the professional standards set under aviation legislative requirements.
(4) Design (Level 2)
5. completion of a simple project based on current aircraft performance methodology.
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
6. Understand concepts of take-off, climb, cruise, turn, descent and landing performance
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
7. Ability to apply scientific principles to a particular situation in order to obtain a numerical solution to an Engineering problem.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment * No 12.50 Week 5 1, 6, 7,
2 Assignment * No 12.50 Week 9 1, 4, 6, 7,
3 Project * Yes 15.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7,
4 Presentation * Yes 10.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
5 Exam No 50.00 Exam Period 4, 6, 7,
Assessment Description: Assignments: Assignment problems covering take-off, climb, cruise, turn, descent, landing performance, weight and balance, aerodynamic derivatives and aircraft/airline operations and maintenance scheduling.

Peer assessment will be used to determine each student`s final mark in Group Assignments.

Project/Presentation : Team based mission optimisation of specific aircraft problem. A team presentation of the finding of this project is part of the assessment. All students must attend these presentations as these will be peer reviewed

Final Exam : 2 Hours. Will cover all material as scheduled. It is a requirement that to pass the course you must pass the exam.

The penalty for lateness is 5% per day. The penalty would apply from the next calendar day after the deadline.

The penalty is a percentage of the available mark and is applied to the mark gained after the submitted work is marked (e.g., an assignment worth 100 marks is 1 day late. The content is given a mark of 75. With the 5% penalty, the final mark is 70).

There are statistically and educationally defensible methods used when combining the marks from each component to ensure consistency of marking between markers, and alignment of final grades with unit outcomes and grade descriptors.

The University has authorised and mandated the use of text-based similarity detecting software for all text-based written assignments.

* indicates an assessment task which must be repeated if a student misses it due to special consideration
Assessment Feedback: Feedback given : common errors discussed at tutorials.
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.
Special Conditions to Pass UoS Students must achieve a grade of at least 40% in the final exam to pass this unit of study. Students not meeting this criteria will be awarded a maximum mark of 45.
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.
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 Students
Online Course Content:

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

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction to aircraft performance. Lift, Drag, Thrust and Pitching moment.
Week 2 FAR Design and performance regulations. The Design Envelope.
Week 3 Take-Off Performance. Climb performance. Specific Excess Power and climb optimisation.
Week 4 Range, Endurance. Effects of Altitude. Performance Limits.
Week 5 Descent and Landing. Complete Mission Profile.
Assessment Due: Assignment *
Week 6 Weight and Balance.
Week 7 Cockpit Ergonomics. Trim and Control
Week 8 Aerodynamic derivatives and their impact on performance
Week 9 Performance Optimisation
Assessment Due: Assignment *
Week 10 Australian aviation legislative requirements: CARS. Safe Operating procedures
Week 11 Economical operations and managment considerations.
Week 12 Review of all concepts
Week 13 Project Presentations.
Assessment Due: Project *
Assessment Due: Presentation *
Exam Period Assessment Due: Exam

Course Relations

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

Course Year(s) Offered
Aeronautical / Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019, 2020
Aeronautical (till 2014) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
Aeronautical Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012
Aeronautical Engineering / Commerce 2010, 2011, 2012
Aeronautical Engineering / Medical Science 2011, 2012
Aeronautical Engineering / Project Management 2012
Aeronautical Engineering / Science 2011, 2012
Aeronautical Engineering / Law 2010
Aeronautical Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Aeronautical/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Aeronautical 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Aeronautical / Arts 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Aeronautical / Commerce 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Aeronautical / Medical Science 2016, 2017
Aeronautical / Music Studies 2016, 2017
Aeronautical / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018
Aeronautical / Science 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Aeronautical/Science (Health) 2018, 2019, 2020
Aeronautical / Law 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2) No 13%
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3) No 6%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2) No 21.5%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 2) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 2) No 4%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3) No 23.5%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 2) No 0%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) No 32%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 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.