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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 23/06/2022 10:19:40

Title of Module: Aircraft Design and Performance

Code: ENGG09027 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Bassam  Rakhshani

Summary of Module

This module intends to introduce students to the broad but specific overview of the aircraft design and performance configurations and its aerodynamic characteristics. In particular the configuration and sizing of wing design in terms of aerodynamic design requirements is studied and aspects of its geometric shape and features are studied and analysed. The effect of aircraft (wing) design features on aerodynamic forces are studied with computing and analysing critical design and performance parameters.

Aircraft weight and balance characteristics and techniques to estimate weight and CG position are discussed and students are taught on how to conduct weight and CG analysis. Aircraft stability and control performance characteristics are studied where analytical techniques are used to assess and evaluate the state of an aircrfat stabillity mode.  

Aircraft performance characteristics in terms of equations of motions, flight mission, flight envelope, and flight phases are studied, and fundamental parameters in flight phase configuration are examined. Limited optimization study to determine and analyse efficient design and/or performance configuration is given throughout the last LO.  

Also, students will be introduced to the aspects of aircraft sustainable and green design, such as; low energy consumption and green energy, low emisions, green materials (smart, light weight, recyclability), etc.

During the course of this module students will develop their UWS Graduate Attributes (;

Universal: academic atributes (critical thinking and analytical & inquiring mind).

Work-Ready: academic attributes (knowledge of aircraft design and performance and relevant ICT skills, problem solving).

Successful: academic attribute (autonomous); personal attribute (resilient); professional attribute (driven).

  • This module has been reviewed and updated, taking cognisance of the University’s Curriculum Framework principles. Examples of this are found within the module such as active and engaging laboratory and tutorial activity, module assessment which reflects industry design activities, learning synergies across modules and levels of study, recorded lecture content supporting students to organise their own study time and the use of real-world aircraft design specifications utilising digital solutions supporting assessment authenticity and development of digital intelligence meta-skills.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Analyse aircraft wing design configuration and the impact they have on aerodynamic forces

L2. Analyse and estimate aircraft weight and balance and CG position

L3. Appraise aircraft performance throughout the operational envelope

L4. Examine aircraft design and performance configuration layout and optimisation

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

A critical knowledge and understanding of aerodynamics and aircraft performance and its importance in aircraft design.

Specific and detailed knowledge and understanding of the application, techniques and practices associated with aerodynamics and aircraft performance.

Using aerodynamics calculation tools to solve engineering and design problems.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Applying knowledge and understanding to analyse aerodynamic and aircraft performance problems.

Performing wind tunnel testing on aerofoil sections to establish how aircraft wings behave during a typical flight phase.

Assessing a wide range of aircraft configurations and deciphering reasons for designing aircraft in this manner from an aerodynamics perspective.

Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques to model complex problems, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed

Select and critically evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to solve complex problems.

Apply an integrated or systems approach to the solution of complex problems.

In relation to aircraft design and performance evaluate the environmental and societal impact of solutions to complex problems (to include the entire life-cycle of a product or process) and minimise adverse impacts.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Undertaking, evaluating and assessing analysis of aerodynamics problems. Making judgements on analytical data and results. Being able to develop conceptual solutions and strategies to solve problems.

Detailing results data and making critical comparative assessments between theoretical and experimental predictions.

Bringing information together from a variety of sources during problem solving and being able to explain potential problems with methods and strategies.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Ability to perform, interpret and evaluate complex numerical, geometrical and graphical data and using it to solve problems associated with aerodynamics and aircraft performance.

Ability to derive and solve complex equations. Making use of research literature to find solutions to problems and make use of experimental techniques.

Using communications skills to write detailed, critical technical reports, including text and illustration.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Identifying and addressing their own learning needs both during and out with class time.

Identifying solution routes and strategies using their own initiative and informed judgments.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The learning and teaching activity for this module include lectures, tutorials and problem based learning.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity24
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop4
Independent Study160
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Access to wind tunnel facilities.

Course notes and presentations will be provided.

Anderson, J.D. (1999) Aircraft Performance & Design. McGraw-Hill
Aircraft flight, R.H Barnard and D.R Philpott, Prentice-Hall, 978-0273730989 (ISBN)

The Air Pilot's Manual: The Aeroplane - Technical, Trevor Thom, Airlife, 978-1840371550(ISBN)

Aerodynamics for Engineering Students, E.L Houghton, Butterworth-Heinemann, 978-0750651110 (ISBN)

Foundations of Aerodynamics, A.Kuethe and C. Chow, John Wiley & Sons, 978-0471129196 (ISBN)

Aircraft Performance and Desing, J.D Anderson, McGraw-Hill, 978-0071160100 (ISBN)

Anderson, J.D. (2010) Fundamentals of Aerodynamics. 5th ed. McGraw-Hill

Barnard, R.H and Philpott, D.R. (2009) Aircraft Flight: A Description of the Physical Principles of Aircraft Flight. 4th ed. Prentice-Hall

Federal Aviation Administration (n.d) Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook, Aviation Supplies & Academics Inc

Houghton, E.L. (2003) Aerodynamics for Engineering Students. 5th ed. Butterworth-Heinemann

Kuethe, A. and Chow, C (1997) Foundations of Aerodynamics John Wiley & Sons

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEngineering
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelEngineering
ModeratorStephanie Docherty
External ExaminerE Tingas
Accreditation DetailsIMechE
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Class Test (30%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check mark check markcheck mark302

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark700
Combined Total For All Components100% 2 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The programme leaders have considered how the programme meets the requirements of potential students from minority groups, including students from ethnic minorities, disabled students, students of different ages and students from under-represented groups. Students with special needs (including additional learning needs) would be assessed/accommodated and any identified barriers to particular groups of students discussed with the Enabling Support Unit and reasonable adjustments would be made for classes and site visits.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.