Basic mechanics, vector calculus, basic differential equations; good familiarity with basic fluid mechanics concepts (pressure, density, velocity, stress, etc.) similar to the content in 16.101x (...see more...
Flight Vehicle Aerodynamics
Discover the concepts, theories, models, and methods used in the aerodynamic analysis and design of modern aircraft.
About this Course
This course covers the physics, concepts, theories, and models underlying the discipline of aerodynamics. A general theme is the technique of velocity field representation and modeling via source and vorticity fields, and via their sheet, filament, or point-singularity idealizations.
The intent is to instill an intuitive feel for aerodynamic flowfield behavior, and to provide the basis of aerodynamic force analysis, drag decomposition, flow interference estimation, and many other important applications. A few computational methods are covered, primarily to give additional insight into flow behavior, and to identify the primary aerodynamic forces on maneuvering aircraft. A short overview of flight dynamics is also presented.
Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.
Ways to take this edX course:
Simply Audit this Course
Audit this course for free and have complete access to all of the course material, tests, and the online discussion forum. You decide what and how much you want to do.
Pursue a Verified Certificate of Achievement
Plan to use your completed coursework for job applications, promotions or school applications? Then you may prefer to work towards a verified Certificate of Achievement to document your accomplishment.
Professor Mark Drela is the Terry J. Kohler Professor of Fluid Dynamics at the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, where he joined the faculty in 1986. His primary research interests are in low speed and transonic aerodynamics, design and performance of aircraft and aeromechanical devices, and computational aerodynamic design methodology. He has developed a number of computational aerodynamic design/analysis codes currently being used in the aircraft and gas turbine industry. He has also developed tools for analysis and design of control systems for highly aeroelastic aircraft.
Dr Alejandra Uranga is a Research Engineer in the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She holds a MASc from the University of Victoria, BC, Canada, and a PhD degree from MIT. Her research has been in Computational Fluid Dynamics, specifically the modeling and simulation of turbulence and transition. She is currently the project technology lead for design, development, simulation, and wind tunnel testing of an advanced transport aircraft concept under the NASA N+3 program.
Basic mechanics, vector calculus, basic differential equations; good familiarity with basic fluid mechanics concepts (pressure, density, velocity, stress, etc.) similar to the content in 16.101x (however 16.101x is not a requirement).
You do not need to buy a textbook. All material is included in the edX course and is viewable online. This includes a full textbook in PDF form. If you would like to buy a print copy of the textbook, a mail-order service will be provided.
You can register at any time, but you will not get credit for any assignments that are past due.
Grades are made out of four parts: simple, multiple-choice "Concept Questions " completed during lectures; weekly homework assignments; and two exams, one at the midpoint and one at the end of the course.
Video lectures as well as worked problems will be available and you can watch these at your leisure. Homework assignments and exams, however, will have due dates.
Yes, transcripts of the course will be made available.
Yes, all the material will be made available to all students.
The student is expected to be well-versed in basic mechanics, vector calculus, and basic differential equations. Good familiarity with basic fluid mechanics concepts (pressure, density, velocity, stress, etc.) is expected, similar to the content in 16.101x (however, 16.101x is not a requirement). If you do not know these subjects beforehand, following the class material will be extremely difficult. We do not check students for prerequisites, so you are certainly allowed to try.
Unfortunately, students from Iran, Sudan and Cuba will not be able to register for this course at the present time. While edX has received a license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control to offer courses to learners from these embargoed countries, our license does not cover this course. We are deeply sorry the U.S. government has determined that we have to block these students, and we are working diligently to rectify this situation as soon as possible.