Over the past 25 years, the use of advanced composite materials in aircraft primary

structures has increased significantly. Driven by the demand for fuel-efficient,

lightweight and high stiffness structures that have fatigue durability and corrosion

resistance, modern large commercial aircraft are designed with more than 50%

composite materials. Despite the many advantages, composite structural

certification becomes challenging due to the lack of experience in large- scale

structures, complex interactive failure mechanisms, sensitivity to temperature and

moisture, and scatter in the data, especially regarding fatigue.

This unit explores the advantages and the complexities of designing components

with advanced composite materials and will provide an insight into the

requirements and testing of aerospace composite structures.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to evaluate a composite

design for manufacture, calculate the mechanical properties of composite materials,

explain their failure mechanisms, describe environmental degradation of materials,

explain post-consumer recycling issues and evaluate new sustainable materials for

aerospace use.

Gas turbine engines have become the major source of propulsive power for

modern-day commercial and military aircraft, due to their superior power output

and efficiency savings in relation to their reciprocating piston counterparts. The

current imperatives are for engines to be designed that are quieter, cleaner, more

efficient, have greater power and improved performance.

This unit introduces students to the thermo-fluid principles and propulsion cycles

used to assess the overall efficiencies of gas turbine engines, and to the design and

performance of the turbomachinery, intake, combustion and exhaust modules that

provide the propulsive thrust, as well as to the relationship between their design,

performance and effect on the environment.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to determine gas turbine

engine performance using thermo-fluid principles and propulsion cycle efficiencies;

examine the design and performance of aircraft gas turbine engine turbomachinery,

intake, combustion and exhaust modules; and investigate the factors affecting the

design, performance and environmental impact of gas turbine powered aircraft


No matter what method of propulsion is used to propel aircraft through the air, they all rely on the principle laid down in Newton’s third law, which states in its simplest form that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

The action force which we know as thrust may be provided by aircraft propellers or by the fluid stream from a jet engine exhaust, or by a combination of both.

This unit introduces students to the thermodynamic and mechanical principles that underpin aircraft propulsion and to gas turbine engine and piston engine construction, function and operation, as well as to the layout and operation of their associated components and support systems.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to determine how thermodynamic and mechanical properties are applied to aircraft propulsion, and examine the construction, function and operation of gas turbine engines, their fluid, control and monitoring systems and piston engines and systems.

The need to control aircraft during all phases of flight has become ever more sophisticated as the complexity, size and flight speed of aircraft have increased. This has led to developments that increase the functionality, power output, fault tolerance and integration of the systems that provide flight control. With each aircraft generation, flight control system design has developed from the simple manual and power-assisted mechanical systems, through to hydraulically and/or electrically powered and on to the advanced computer-controlled fly-by-wire and automatic flight control systems that we see today.

This unit will cover the design, development and operation of flight control systems for fixed wing aircraft through the generations and introduces students to the design, development and operation of mechanical, hydraulic power and fly-by-wire systems, and automatic flight control in the form of autopilot and autoland systems.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to determine the construction, layout and operation of mechanical flight control systems and control surfaces, examine the design and operation of fly-by-wire flight control systems,determine the functions and operation of autopilot and autoland flight control systems and determine the contribution made to safe flight control by each system.