Aeronautical Engineering BEng/MEng

Introduction to Aerodynamics 2 ENG2037

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course is designed to develop further students' interest and learning in aerospace engineering, theoretical and experimental aerodynamics and aircraft design. Topics covered include low speed and high speed aerodynamics, important non-dimensional variables, 2-D and 3-D aerofoil characteristics and an introduction to helicopter aerodynamics.


2 lectures per week

Excluded Courses





90% Written Exam

10% Report

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ provide a basic understanding of some aspects of aerodynamics and aircraft design;

■ further students' interest in aerospace engineering, including appreciation of the historical aspects of aviation;

■ increase awareness of important aerodynamic loads and relevant non-dimensional parameters such as Mach number and Reynolds number;

■ introduce 2D/3D aerofoil flow characteristics, including boundary layer effects, high lift devices;

■ introduce concepts in aircraft stability and control;

■ provide an introduction to high-speed aerodynamics;

■ introduce the basic concepts in the modelling of helicopter aerodynamics.

■ provide practical experience of undertaking and reporting on aerodynamic experiments

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ recount the history of the development of flight;

■ describe the atmosphere and its properties;

■ explain the variation of atmospheric properties with altitude;

■ describe the concept and consequences of airflow;

■ appreciate the aerodynamic forces involved in aircraft flight

■ identify the important features in the design of aerofoils;

■ explain the flow characteristics over 2D and 3D aerofoils;

■ know and understand how and why aircraft control surfaces work;

■ explain whether an aircraft is statically stable or not;

■ appreciate the role of a tailplane on static stability;

■ describe basic compressible flow features, e.g. Mach cones, locally supersonic flow;

■ identify differences in airfoil shapes used for high speed and low speed flight;

■ use shock relations and shock tables to calculate properties across a shockwave

■ describe some basic aerodynamic features of rotary aircraft

■ appreciate some of the important aspects, limitations and constraints of undertaking aerodynamic experiments

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the degree examination and submit at least 75% by weight of the other components of the course's summative assessment.


Students should attend at least 75% of the timetabled classes of the course.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates.  Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.