Introduction to aircraft aerodynamics

Course description:

This introductory course in English is designed to help you understand the relationship between the geometry and aerodynamic performance of subsonic aircraft. The course includes theoretical and applied parts, as well as additional materials.

The first part covers those topics of subsonic aerodynamics that are necessary for effective work with the applied part of the course: the flow models, some fundamental equations, concepts, and theories of aerodynamics. The key topic of the theoretical section is the development of low-fidelity numerical methods used for aerodynamic analysis at the initial design stages.

The applied portion of the course covers some general trends in the aerodynamic design of aircraft parts and an aircraft as a whole, with the goal of optimizing aircraft aerodynamic performance. The objective of this course’s part is to show how, using the tools of theoretical and applied aerodynamics, one can design an aerodynamically better aircraft.

In addition to video lectures with presentations, we have included in the course the lecture notes with the list of references, as well as the equation and designation sheets (for convenience, the designations adopted in both English and Russian technical literature are given).

The course also includes interviews with experts of the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, a video exploring the MAI aerodynamic laboratory, including its history, and a video tour of the MAI aircraft hangar.

The material in this course assumes:

  • some knowledge of technical English;
  • familiarity with differential and integral calculus, vector analysis, and;
  • the usual physics background.

To work on the course, students need the following software:

  • MS Office;
  • any CAD program;
  • X-Foil or similar codes for aerodynamic analysis
  • optional: any CFD package.

About the course:

Course outline:

  • Fundamental Principles
    • Fundamental Aerodynamic Variables
    • Aerodynamic Forces and Moments
    • Types of flow
  • Models of fluid
    • Control volumes and fluid elements
    • Continuity Equation
    • Momentum Equation
    • Energy Equation
    • Substantial Derivative
    • Pathlines, Streamlines, Angular Velocity, Vorticity
    • Circulation
    • Stream Function and Velocity Potential
    • How do we solve the equations?
  • Inviscid, incompressible flow
    • Bernoulli’s Equation
    • Laplace’s Equation
    • Elementary Flows
    • The Kutta-Joukowski Theorem
  • Incompressible flows over airfoils
    • Airfoil Nomenclature and Lift
    • Thin Airfoil Theory
  • Incompressible flows over finite wings
    • Downwash and Induced Drag
    • The vortex filament, the Biot-Savart law, and Helmholtz's theorems
    • Lifting Line Theory
    • The Lifting-Surface Theory and the Vortex Lattice Numerical Method
  • Viscous flow
    • The Viscous Flow Equations
    • Boundary Layers
Chapter 2. Aircraft Aerodynamic Design
  • The Aerodynamic Coefficients - their Magnitudes and Variations
  • Airfoils
  • Finite Wing
  • High-lift devices
  • Tail
  • Drag reduction
  • Wind Tunnels
  • Propeller-Airframe Interaction
  • Airfoil Design and Airfoil-Airframe Integration
Chapter 3. Concluding Remarks on Aircraft Aerodynamic Design and the Course Objectives
  • Concluding Remarks on Aircraft Aerodynamic Design and the Course Objectives
Chapter 4. Additional Videos
  • Interview with Vitaly Valentinovich Gubsky, Head of the Aerodynamics Department of the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky.
  • Interview with Dmitry Sergeevich Glitchev, Senior Researcher at the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky.
  • Video tour of the MAI Aerodynamic laboratory.
  • Video tour of the aircraft hangar, Department 101 "Aircraft Design and Certification", Institute No. 1 "Aviation Technology", MAI.
Chapter 5. Final control
  • Final certification in the form of a test

Our teachers:

Karpovich Elena, Ph.D

After completing and passing the course, you will be awarded a certificate from the MAI

Course duration: 36 academic hours.
Course cost: 21600 ₽

Apply for the online course "Introduction to Aerodynamic Design"

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