Postgraduate taught 

Aerospace Engineering MSc

Aeroelasticity and Aeroacoustics 5 ENG5263

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course covers advanced topics in aeroelastic theory, and aeroacoustics. It involves detailed theoretical, analytical and numerical analysis of major structural components and behaviour of flexible aircraft. Students will develop and use numerical methods for structural analysis, and write solution methods for predicting flutter and other aeroelastic phenomena to assess flight envelopes of aircraft. In addition, acoustics of aircraft is covered, introducing the students to noise of rotary and fixed wings, transmission of noise inside aircraft cabin, and noise on the ground below the aircraft.


Twenty hours of lectures early in the semester

Excluded Courses





Students submit one report on the estimation of the flutter envelope of an aircraft with an assessment of the tonal and broadband noise produced (100%).

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to

■ foster student interest in aeroelasticity and to introduce students to computational flutter calculations and unsteady aerodynamic modelling

■ provide the student with an understanding of the levels of rigour and validation required for computational analysis of aeroelastic problems

■ build on the experience gained in the individual project with an open-ended learning environment

■ explain the foundations of aircraft acoustics and bring forward the link between acoustics, vibrations and aerodynamics.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ demonstrate competence in the execution of complex engineering calculations, work with rigour with the mathematics and perform numerical analysis completely with precision and accuracy;

■ demonstrate competence in algorithm generation for the solution of the engineering models presented in the course;

■ demonstrate that they can develop validated MATLAB script and functions to solve engineering problems, and present their results;

■ write well-structured, accurate, concise reports that highlight the key features of the investigations with a clear writing style supported by appropriate figures, diagrams and tables ;



■ explain the consequences of aerofoil motion on the attached flow lift, drag and pitching moment of an oscillating aerofoil;

■ describe the Theodorsen function and understand its complex nature and derivation;

■ justify the inclusion of unsteady aerodynamic effects (such as the oscillatory pitching moment damping) in flutter calculations;

■ combine structural models with aerodynamic models to determine aeroelastic behaviour;

■ approximate the divergence and flutter speed of cantilever wings using assumed modes analysis and understand the importance of wing design parameters on divergence/flutter speed;

■ quantify the effects on flutter of wing design parameters;

■ employ the aerodynamic frequency response matrix in a frequency domain solution of the flutter problem;

■ make estimates of the flutter speed of MDOF wings using the U-g and p-k methods and understand each method's strengths and weaknesses;

■ interpret the results of flutter code calculations;

■ bring together elements of the theoretical basis of aeroelasticity to develop a numerical scheme for the analysis of the aeroelastic behaviour of a fixed wing aircraft.


■ explain the fundamental link between aerodynamics, structural vibration and acoustics of aircraft;

■ present the sources of aircraft noise and discuss methods to approximate their magnitude and importance;

■ introduce numerical tools for estimating aircraft acoustics based on simple analogy theories;

■ combine unsteady aerodynamic tools with acoustic prediction methods and demonstrate these for estimating tonal noise;

■ present Lighthill's acoustic analogy theory and its applications to aircraft acoustics.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.