Course objectives:
The course introduces students to the performance, stability, and control of a wide range of airborne vehicles. Attention is given to mathematical models and techniques for analysis, simulation, and evaluation of flying qualities, with brief discussion of guidance, navigation, and control issues. Topics include equations of motion, configuration aerodynamics, analysis of linear systems, and longitudinal/lateral/directional motions.

  1. Introduction (6 hours)
    1. Introduction, Mathematical Preliminaries
      1. Introduction to Flight Dynamics
      2. Flight of a Paper Airplane
      3. Math Preliminaries
    2. Point-Mass Dynamics and Aerodynamic Forces
      1. The Atmosphere
      2. Equation of motion for a particle (Point Mass)
      3. Introduction to lift and drag
      4. Equations of motion with Aerodynamics and Thrust
      5. Introduction to Aerodynamic Propulsion
  2. Configuration Aerodynamics (10 hours)
    1. Low-Speed Aerodynamics
      1. 2D Aerodynamic Lift and Drag 
        1. Effect of sweep angle on lift
        2. Thin Aerofoil theory
      2. Description of Aircraft configuration
      3. 3D Aerodynamic Lift and Drag
        1. Wing twist effects
        2. Aerodynamic Strip Theory
        3. Effect of aspect ratio on 3D wing lift slope coefficient
        4. Longitudinal Control Surfaces
    2. Induced Drag and High-Speed Aerodynamics
      1. Induced Drag
      2. Mach Number Effects
      3. Newtonian flow and High-Angle-of-Attack Lift and Drag
    3. Aerodynamic Moments
      1. Spanwise Lift Distribution of 3D Wings
      2. Secondary wing Structures
        1. Wingtip Design
        2. Sweep Effect on Thickness Ratio
      3. Moments of the airplane
      4. Airplane Balance
      5. Pitching Moment of the Airplane
      6. Lateral-Directional Effects of Sideslip Angle
      7. Tail Design Effects
      8. Propeller Effects
  3. Flight Performance (8 hours)
    1. Cruising Flight Performance
      1. Flight in Vertical Plane
      2. Steady, Level Flight
      3. The Flight Envelop
      4. Optimal Crusing Flight
    2. Gliding, Climbing, and Turning Flight Performance
      1. Gliding Flight
      2. Climbing Flight
      3. Optimal Climbing Flight
      4. The Maneuvering Envelope
      5. Turning Flight
  4. Equations of Motion (12 hours)
    1. Aircraft Equations of Motion - Translation and Rotation
      1. Translational Position
      2. Rotational Orientation
      3. Angular Momentum
      4. The Inertia Matrix
      5. Rate of Change of Angular Momentum
    2. Aircraft Equations of Motion - Flight Path Computation
      1. Euler Angle Rates
      2. Rigid-Body Equation of Motion
      3. FLIGHT-Computer Program to Solve the 6-DOF Equation of Motion
      4. Examples from FLIGHT
      5. Aerodynamic Damping
    3. Aircraft Control Devices and Systems
      1. Control Surface Types
      2. Control Surface Aerodynamics
      3. Control Mechanization Effects
      4. Yaw Damping
      5. Flight Control Systems
  5. Linearized Motion in Flight (12 hours)
    1. Linearized Equations of Motion
      1. Linear, Time-Varying(LTV) Approximation of Perturbation Dynamics
      2. Separation of Equation of Motion into Longitudinal and Lateral Directional Sets
      3. Decoupling Approximation for Small Perturbations from Steady, Level Flight
    2. Linearized Longitudinal Equations of Motion
      1. Fourth-Order Hybrid Equations of Motion
      2. Dimensional Stability and Control Derivatives
      3. Comparison of 2nd and 4th order Model Response
    3. Linearized Lateral-Directional Equations of Motion
      1. Linearized Lateral-Directional Equation of Motion in Steady, Level Flight
      2. Stability Axis Representation of Dynamics
      3. 2nd Order Approximate Modes of Lateral-Directional Motion
      4. Comparison of 4th and 2nd Order Dynamic Models
  6. Methods of Analysis and Design (12 hours)
    1. Maneuvering at High Angles and Angular Rates
      1. Coupling of Longitudinal and Lateral-Directional Motions
      2. Tumbling and Spins
      3. Control at Height Aerodynamic Angles
    2. Aeroelasticity and Fuel Slosh
      1. One-Dimensional Mode of Aeroelasticity
      2. Fuel Shift and Slosh
    3. Problems of High Speed and Altitude
      1. Effects of Air Compressibility on Flight Stability
      2. Altitude/Airspeed Instability
      3. Variable-Sweep/Incidence Wings (“Morphing”)
      4. Future of High-Speed Flight
    4. Flight and Wind Tunnel Testing
      1. Wind Tunnel Force and Moment Data
      2. Compressibility Effects on Impact Pressure
      3. Air Data Computation for Supersoinc Aircraft
    5. Atmospheric Hazards to Flight


  1. This course is the aircraft performance, stability, and control course which most directly prepares the student for the aircraft capstone design course. Topics covered in the first part of the course help the student identify the parameters which affect takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, turn, and landing performance as well as specific excess power. Topics covered in the second part of the course include a detailed look at static longitudinal stability, with special emphasis on cg location for static stability, and an overview of dynamic longitudinal stability and response to an elevator deflection and to a vertical gust .
  2. MATLAB : Most of the computer exercises have been placed in the lab associated with the class. Some assignments require computation and plotting.


  1. Stengel, R., Flight Dynamics, Princeton University Press, 2004.
  2. Etkin, B., “Dynamics of Flight Stability and Control”, Edn. 2, John Wiley, New York, 1982.
  3. Babister, A.W., “Aircraft Dynamic Stability and Response”, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1980.
  4. Dommasch, D.O., Shelby, S.S., and Connolly, T.F., “Aeroplane Aero dynamics”, Third Edition, Issac Pitman, London, 1981
Evaluation Scheme:
There will be questions covering all the chapters in the syllabus. The evaluation scheme for the question will be as indicated in the table below:



Mark distribution*













5 & 6

12 & 12





*Note: There may be minor deviation in mark distribution.

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