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AERO4206: Rotary Wing Aircraft (2016 - Semester 2)

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Unit: AERO4206: Rotary Wing Aircraft (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior Advanced
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Auld, Douglass
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: AERO3260 AND AERO3560.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit aims to develop an understanding of the theory of flight, design and analysis of helicopters, auto-gyros and other rotary wing aircraft. Students will gain an appreciation of the extra difficulties involved when the vehicle flow is cyclic in nature. At the end of this unit students will be able to: Identify and predict the various flow states of a generic lift producing rotor; Use appropriate methods to determine the forces and torques associated with the rotor; Estimate values for typical stability derivatives for helicopters and be able to construct a simple set of stability analysis equations for the vehicle; become aware of the regulatory and liability requirements relating to all aspects of commercial helicopter operation and maintenance. Course content will include introduction to rotary wing aircraft; vertical flight performance; forward flight performance; blade motion and control; dynamics of rotors; rotor-craft stability; rotor blade design.
Assumed Knowledge: Prior Learning : concepts from 3rd Year Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics will be applied to Rotary Wing Vehicles in this unit.
Lecturer/s: Dr Auld, Douglass
Timetable: AERO4206 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 1.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 3.00 1 12
3 Independent Study 5.00
T&L Activities: Lecture : 1hr lecture per week covering theoretical background information.

Tutorial: 3hr Workgroup session to allow progress on through semester projects.

Independent Study: Self paced research, assignment progress and analysis will be required to complete the given assignments. As a final year elective it is expected that a majority of the learning in this unit will be self-paced and self-directed.

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
Project work requires new and original concepts to be applied to solve the problems Design (Level 4)
Indepth analysis is undertaken of rotary wing aircraft theory and practice. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 5)
Research and investigation is required to gain input data for the project work. General investigation of published data is required to verify theory findings. Information Seeking (Level 3)
Case studies of rotorcraft design and operation and the legislative governing these are used to demonstrate the requirements of professional practice. Professional Conduct (Level 2)

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.

Design (Level 4)
1. Decision making skills in terms of selection of appropriate components for use in the vehicle.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 5)
2. Ability to analyse rotor in hover, vertical flight and translational flight situations.
3. Ability to predict static and/or dynamic properties of the vehicle
Information Seeking (Level 3)
4. Ability to find and justify or verify published information regarding vehicles.
Professional Conduct (Level 2)
5. Ability to follow appropriate design regulations and justify design choices
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment 1 * No 10.00 Week 3 (During your timetabled class) 1, 4,
2 Assignment 2 * No 30.00 Week 7 (During your timetabled class) 1, 2, 4, 5,
3 Assignment 3 * No 30.00 Week 10 (During your timetabled class) 1, 3, 4, 5,
4 Assignment 4 * No 30.00 Week 13 (During your timetabled class) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Assessment Description: Assignment: Selection of working rotary wing aircraft and detailed definition of its specifications, performance and operational components.

Assignment: Analysis of rotor performance, prediction of hover ability, service ceiling and maximum climb rate. Translational flight performance and required flapping angles.

Assignment: Stability analysis of vehicle.

Assignment : Off-design Analysis or Detailed component analysis. Considerations that might detract from performance : structural vibration, noise, exhaust pollution, operational limitations.

Notes : The penalty for late assignments without any special consideration justification is a 25% mark reduction per day.

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
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.

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

Week Description
Week 1 Overview of vehicle types and their operation
Week 2 Momentum theory for rotors
Week 3 Review of structural components
Assessment Due: Assignment 1 *
Week 4 Blade element theory (BET) basics.
Week 5 BET solutions for hover, climb and descent.
Week 6 BET extension for cyclic inputs to rotor
Week 7 BET extension for translational flight.
Assessment Due: Assignment 2 *
Week 8 Rotor vehicle simple dynamic theory
Week 9 Construction of system matrix to analyse motion. Solutions for static and dynamic stability.
Week 10 Off-Design Analysis. Ground effect, slopes, flying near obstructions.
Assessment Due: Assignment 3 *
Week 11 Case studies of good and bad rotary wing vehicle design.
Week 12 Revision
Week 13 Assessment feedback.
Assessment Due: Assignment 4 *

Course Relations

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

Course Year(s) Offered
Aeronautical Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Aeronautical Engineering / Commerce 2014, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Aeronautical Engineering / Medical Science 2014
Aeronautical Engineering / Project Management 2014
Aeronautical Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Aeronautical Engineering / Law 2014, 2010
Aeronautical Engineering (Space) / Commerce 2014
Aeronautical Engineering (Space) / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Aeronautical Engineering (Space) / Medical Science 2014
Aeronautical Engineering (Space) / Project Management 2014
Aeronautical Engineering (Space) / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Aeronautical Engineering (Space) / Law 2014
Aeronautical Mid-Year 2016
Aeronautical Engineering 2015, 2016
Aeronautical / Arts 2015
Aeronautical / Commerce 2015
Aeronautical / Project Management 2015
Aeronautical / Science 2015
Aeronautical / Law 2015
Aeronautical (Space) 2015
Aeronautical (Space) / Arts 2015
Aeronautical (Space) / Commerce 2015
Aeronautical (Space) / Project Management 2015
Aeronautical (Space) / Science 2015
Aeronautical (Space) / Law 2015

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 4) Yes 26%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 5) Yes 36%
Information Seeking (Level 3) Yes 23%
Professional Conduct (Level 2) Yes 15%

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.