AAE 45100

Aircraft Design

Credits:     3

Contact hours:     3

Instructor:     Professor Sullivan, Professor Crossley, and Professor DeLaurentis

Text:     Professor Sullivan does not require any text. Professor Crossley and Professor DeLaurentis require Raymer, D., Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, AIAA, 5th edition. ISBN 978-1600869112. Supplemental notes furnished by instructor.

Course Description:     Senior students perform a team-based aircraft design, requiring application of the knowledge acquired and skills developed in the aerospace curriculum. Aircraft mission requirements include engine cycle selection and airframe/engine integration, performance, stability and control, structures, human factors, avionics, sensors and manufacturing processes. The teams present oral and written reports on their designs.

Offered:    Fall and Spring


Co-requisite:    Senior Standing in AAE

Required:    Either/Or Option with AAE 45000

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

  1. Understand and implement the design process for aerospace systems
  2. Solve problems as part of a team
  3. Conduct open-ended, iterative tasks associated with aircraft/engine design and airframe/engine integration.
  4. Properly integrate a variety of systems and sub-systems within aircraft to demonstrate design feasibility.
  5. Demonstrate design viability through testing, both real and virtual.
  6. Prioritize design requirements and organize work schedules.
  7. Use formal, structured design methods to develop superior products that meet or surpass customer expectations.
  8. 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 Yes
i A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning Yes
j A knowledge of contemporary issues in aerospace engineering Yes
k An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for aerospace engineering practice Yes


  1. Requirements development
  2. Concept development-structured design methods, functional requirements, quality function deployment (QFD)
  3. Team formation and interaction
  4. Weight estimation, cost estimation and constraint diagrams
  5. Concept generation and selection; preliminary sizing - Design requirement sensitivities, weight estimation, wing area selection, power/propulsion system requirements
  6. Design refinement
  7. Technical writing and presentations; design reviews (oral and written reports)
  8. Stability and control surface sizing
  9. Mission simulation and performance verification
  10. Prototype development; real or virtual models and products
  11. Design justification via analyses and / or flight verification and
  12. Final report

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