AAE 33300 Introduction to Fluid Mechanics

Credits:     3

Contact hours:     3 hours lecture per week

Instructor:     Professor Collicott and Professor Alexeenko

Text:     Anderson, John D., Fundamentals of Aerodynamics, McGraw-Hill, 5th edition. ISBN 978-0073398105.

Course Description:     Dimensional analysis, fluid statics, conservation equations and fundamental principles, inviscid and viscous incompressible flow, evaluation of lift and drag of an airfoil.

Offered:    Fall and Spring

Pre-requisite:    None

Co-requisite:    MA 30400

Required:    Yes

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

  1. Calculate aerodynamic forces and moments from pressure and shear stress distributions
  2. Apply dynamic similarity to scale up data
  3. Apply global conservation of mass and momentum to engineering systems
  4. Apply Bernoulli's equation (relating pressure and velocity)
  5. Calculate lift for an arbitrary airfoil using panel methods
  6. Calculate drag for an arbitrary airfoil using integral boundary layer methods

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 No
d An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams No
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 No
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. Introduction
    Definition of a fluid. Continuum hypothesis. Aerodynamic variables. Dimensional analysis. Fluid statics. (8 lectures)
  2. Conservation Equations and Fundamental Principles.
    Review of vector calculus. Control volumes. Conservation of mass, momentum and energy. Eulerian and Lagrangian frames of reference. Substantial derivative. Streamlines. Vorticity and rate of strain. Circulation. Velocity potential and stream function. (10 lectures)
  3. Incompressible Potential Flow
    Bernoulli's equation. Laplace's equation and fundamental solutions for two-dimensional potential flow. Kutta-Joukowski theorem. Kutta condition. Kelvin's circulation theorem. Modeling flow over airfoils-Introduction to panel methods. (15 lectures)
  4. Viscous Incompressible Flow
    Viscosity and thermal conductivity. Stress relation for a Newtonian fluid. Navier-Stokes equations. Dynamic similarity. Simple exact solutions. Boundary layer approximation. Blasius solution. Thwaites' method for laminar boundary layer calculations. Introduction to separation, transition and turbulence. Head's method for turbulent boundary layer calculations. (12 lectures)

Revision History:
Prepared by: A. Lyrintzis
Date: February 6, 2001
Revised: September 2006
Updated Co-Requisite on March 3, 2011
Revised by Marc Williams: September 29, 2011
Format updated: September 2011