Syllabus and Assignments for a First Course on
Aircraft Flight Dynamics
Professor Emeritus, Princeton University
- Week 1
- Introduction, Mathematical Preliminaries
- Week 2
- Point-Mass Dynamics and Forces
- Low-Speed Aerodynamics: 2-D
- Week 3
- Low-Speed Aerodynamics: 3-D
- Induced Drag and High-Speed Aerodynamics
- Week 4
- Aerodynamic Moments
- Cruising Flight Performance: Power and Thrust
- Week 5
- Cruising Flight Performance: Flight Envelope
- Gliding, Climbing, and Turning Performance
- Week 6
- Aircraft Equations of Motion: Translation and Rotation
- Aircraft Equations of Motion: Flight Path Computation
- Week 7
- Control Devices and Systems
- Linearized Equations of Motion
- Week 8
- Longitudinal Dynamics
- Lateral-Directional Dynamics
- Week 9
- Analysis of Time Response
- Transfer Functions and Frequency Response
- Week 10
- Root-Locus Analysis of Parameter Variations and Feedback Control
- Week 11
- Advanced Problems of Longitudinal Dynamics
- Flying Qualities Criteria
- Week 12
- Advanced Problems of Lateral-Directional Dynamics
- Maneuvering at High Angle and Angular Rate
- Week 13
- Aeroelasticity and Fuel Slosh
- Flight at High Speed and Altitude
- Term Report
The purpose of your term paper is to analyze and report on the flight dynamics of a specific aircraft type of your choosing. Working in teams of two, you will estimate the airplane's physical properties and determine its flight envelope, dynamic characteristics, and flying qualities. The written engineering report accounts for 90% of your grade, and 10% is based on the oral presentation.
- Overall Objectives
- General description of the aircraft, mission, and history.
- Mathematical, flight-dynamic model of the aircraft, including aerodynamic, inertial, and thrust properties.
- Overview of trim conditions for steady, level flight (including thrust and elevator settings), performance limits, and flight envelope.
- Open-loop stability, transient response, frequency response, and flying qualities using linear, time-invariant models.
- Stengel, R., Flight Dynamics, Second Edition, Princeton University Press, 2022.
- Abzug, M., and Larrabee, E., Airplane Stability and Control: A History of the Technologies that Made Aviation Possible, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Key words: aircraft flight dynamics, flight mechanics, stability and control, flying qualities, handling qualities, configuration aerodynamics, short period, phugoid, Dutch roll, roll, spiral, aeronautical case histories, aircraft performance, longitudinal dynamics, lateral-directional dynamics, coupled motions, inertial coupling, high angle of attack, aeroelasticity, nonlinear equations of motion, flight simulation, flight vehicles, earth's atmosphere.
last updated January 24, 2022, stengel at princeton.edu.
Copyright 2022 by Robert F. Stengel. All rights reserved.