AAE 25100

Introduction to Aerospace Design

Credits:     3

Contact hours:     3

Instructor:     Professor Marais and Professor Grant

Text:    Anderson, John D., Introduction to Flight, McGraw-Hill, 7th edition. ISBN 978-0073380247. Supplemental notes furnished by instructor.

Course Description:     The role of design in aerospace engineering. Introduction to aerodynamics, performance, propulsion, structures, stability and control, and weights. Layout and general arrangement of aerospace vehicles. Design concept generation and selection. Computational methods for design. Trade studies and graphical optimization. Conceptual design exercise involving aircraft, spacecraft or both. Technical presentations and communication for aerospace engineering.

Offered:    Fall and Spring

Pre-requisite:    ENGR 13200, CGT 16300


Required:    Yes

Student Learning Outcomes:
On completing this course the student shall be able to:

  1. Acquire and apply basic technical knowledge about aerospace engineering
  2. Develop intuition about aerospace engineering and aerospace vehicles
  3. Understand and implement the design process for aerospace systems
  4. Use computers in aerospace design
  5. Solve problems as part of a team
  6. Design an aerospace vehicle/system
  7. Give oral presentations and write technical reports required of design engineers

Relationship of Course to Program Outcomes

    Program Learning Outcomes Included?
a An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering Yes
b An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data No
c An ability to design an aerospace system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health, and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability Yes
d An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams Yes
e An ability to identify, formulate, and solve aerospace engineering problems Yes
f An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility No
g An ability to communicate effectively Yes
h An understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context No
i A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning No
j A knowledge of contemporary issues in aerospace engineering No
k An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for aerospace engineering practice Yes


  1. Introductory Material: Class Introduction. The Design Process and the Historical Perspective. Anatomy, Parameters, and Forces. The Atmosphere. (4 lectures)
  2. Aerodynamics: One-dimensional Flow. Two-dimensional Flow. Viscosity and Drag. Airfoils. Finite Wing. Wings and High-Lift Systems. Drag Prediction. (8 lectures)
  3. Propulsion: Producing Thrust. Types of engines. Propulsion Design Considerations. (2 lectures)
  4. Performance: The Design Mission. Range. Endurance. Climb. Descent. Takeoff. Landing. (3 lectures)
  5. Aircraft Stability: Center of Gravity. Static Longitudinal Stability. Other Measures of Stability. Static Lateral Stability. Design Considerations. (2 lectures)
  6. Aircraft Geometry Selection: Wing Placement. Fuselage Shape. Engine and Inlet Placement. Tails. Landing Gear Arrangement. (4 lectures)
  7. The Aircraft Design Process: Generating and Evaluating Design Alternatives. Aircraft Sizing. Empty Weight Prediction. Fuel Weight Prediction. Geometry. Carpet Plots. Aircraft Cost. (5 lectures)
  8. Rockets and Spacecraft: Rocket Trajectories. The Rocket Equation. Staging. Geocentric Orbits. Heliocentric Orbits. Orbital Parameters and Maneuvers. Spacecraft/Rocket Sizing. (4 lectures)
  9. Structures: Structural Design Process. Design Criteria. Structural Design Layout. Aircraft Structure Types. Materials. (2 lectures)
  10. Technical Reports and Presentations: Vehicle of the Week Reports and Presentations. The Design Proposal and Presentation. (2 lectures)

Revision History:
Prepared by: William A. Crossley, Date: February 17, 2001
Revised by: Daniel DeLaurentis, Date: September 18, 2006
Updated Pre-Requisite: March 3, 2011
Format updated: September 2011