Flight Vehicle Aerodynamics

Discover the concepts, theories, models, and methods used in the aerodynamic analysis and design of modern aircraft.

About The Course

*Note - This is an Archived course*

This is a past/archived course. At this time, you can only explore this course in a self-paced fashion. Certain features of this course may not be active, but many people enjoy watching the videos and working with the materials. Make sure to check for reruns of 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.

All required readings are available within the courseware, courtesy of The MIT Press. A print version of the textbook, Flight Vehicle Aerodynamics, is also available for purchase.

Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.

Recommended Background

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...