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Aircraft Design



Hallo and welcome to this OER "Aircraft Design". My name is Dieter Scholz. I'm a professor here at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences and responsible for the lectures Aircraft Design, Flight Mechanics with Flight Dynamics, Educational Flight Testing even, and Aircraft Systems. Our topic here is "Aircraft Design". The material for the OER is in English, but also available in German.

Watch the Aircraft Design @ HOOU - Teaser, in German, with English subtitles or continue to read the script here on this page ...

Subtitles? Start video, click on "YouTube", switch on Subtitles and switch to English Language there!

As a child I've been regularly at the airport. After graduating in Mechanical Engineering, I started at Airbus. One reason for this decision was the Flying Club at Airbus. That's the place where employees can learn to fly.

Flying has this fascination. I think that's something archaic. We have here on our planet: firm ground, water and air. As humans, we basically live on firm ground. We can somehow deal with water, but not with the air. From time immemorial it was always the dream to conquer the air like the birds. This is the origin of this fascination. Still today we live from that archaic fascination of flying.

Our topic are civil passenger aircraft. The design task is quite basic: How many passengers want to travel what distance, and how does the aircraft look like that allows this.

The aircraft will be displayed in a three-view-drawing together with a number of parameters. This is what Aircraft Design is supposed to deliver.

Aircraft Design can be divided into two main steps. The first step is called Preliminary Sizing. Here, based on requirements the first 5 ... 10 parameters are generated. Examples are: wing area, thrust, maximum take-off mass of the aircraft. With these initial parameters we get a notion of how big the aircraft must be to meet its transport task.

Once we have found these initial parameters, we will look at the main aircraft components. This is the second main step in Aircraft Design, called Conceptual Design. Here, we deal with the fuselage, the wing, and the tail. These main components will be detailed with more parameters.

That may sound complicated, but consider the way Aircraft Design works: experience is used together with rules of thumb and statistics. Required mathematics are not demanding. Basic arithmetic operations are mostly sufficient. It's the task of the OER to guide the student step by step to the problem solving strategy.

Please note: The OER will still grow on this site. For now you find PDFs which are not necessarily in their final form. Do to copyright issues one PDF-file still requires password protection at this time.


Learning Outcomes

What benefit can students get from the OER?

At the end the students can design an aircraft. If one believes it or not, that is the teaching goal. To summarize: Based on requirements including especially: payload, range, and certification rules, the aircraft will be built up step by step. Formal optimization of aircraft parameters is not covered in this course, but students are guided to a quite reasonable solution using certain Aircraft Design heuristics. This will lead to a quite traditional looking aircraft, with such a set of resulting parameters, that we can state: "The aircraft will fly" - and that's already something!?

Watch the full length Aircraft Design @ HOOU - Interview with Prof. Scholz, English


Time needed

The OER is derived from a traditional lecture with 15 session each 3 hours long. This means classromm teaching is 45 hours. In addition, students use quite some time for their individual studies to get prepared for the examination.

About HOOU

Hamburg Open Online University (HOOU) is a joint project of the six public institutions of higher education in Hamburg. It is designed to supplement classroom lectures with the potentials offered by digital technologies and to make these offers available as part of Open Educational Resources.
This OER at HOOU

Licence Agreement: CC-BY-NC-SA | Content: Prof. Dr-Ing. Dieter Scholz | Layout: Jakob Kopczynski | Design: templatemo