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Unit information: Aerodynamics 3 in 2020/21

Unit name Aerodynamics 3
Unit code AENG31101
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Rendall
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


Aerodynamics 3 introduces common methods for the practical analysis of aerofoils in both inviscid and viscous flows. The course may be grouped into the following subject areas: i) conformal mapping and the Joukowski transformation. Demonstrates the transformation between real and complex planes that allows determination of pressures and forces on aerofoils in incompressible, inviscid flows through an inverse method. ii) Laminar boundary layers. Introduces the concept and physics of boundary layers, and integral methods for calculating their influence on the drag/lift of aerofoils. iii) Transition and turbulent boundary layers. The concepts of turbulence, how this affects boundary layers, and simple methods for computing their effects. iv) Practical tools. Panel and vortex lattice methods, their formulation, implementation, uses and limitations.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit the student will:

have an understanding of conventional analytical and semi-analytical methods used for the design and analysis of aerofoils in inviscid and viscous flows, and also the areas of applicability and limitations of such methods; be able to apply such methods to aerofoil design, and have some direct experience of the effect of shape on lift and drag; understand the concept of the boundary layer, and have a basic appreciation of the effects of viscosity on aerodynamic characteristics, including the generation of friction and form drag and the onset and impact of flow separation; understand widely-used industrial analysis methods for 3D analysis, specifically panel and vortex lattice techniques.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

100% Summer timed assessment

Reading and References


  • Bertin and Smith ‘Aerodynamics for Engineers’
  • F. M. White ‘Fluid Mechanics, 3rd Edition’
  • J. Anderson ‘Fundamentals of Aerodynamics’
  • J. Anderson ‘Modern Compressible Flow’
  • Houghton and Brock ‘Aerodynamics for Engineering Students’

More detailed texts below; all have sections on complex potential function and conformal mapping.

  • Kreyszig ‘Advanced Engineering Mathematics’.
  • L.M. Milne-Thomson ‘Theoretical Aerodynamics’
  • G.K. Batchelor ‘An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics’
  • G. Lighthill ‘An Informal Introduction to Theoretical Fluid Mechanics’