Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on NAUTICAL AND AERONAUTICAL SCIENCES
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
Second semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The Flight Mechanics course has the scope of introducing the students to the Flight Theory and the performances of fixed wing airplanes in gliding and powered flight.


The student has to understand algebra, Mathematics and Phisics first module


Classification of Aircraft - Aircraft architecture - Main properties of fluids - Equations of state - The International Standard Atmosphere: characteristics and their variation with altitude - Fluids viscosity: the boundary layer - Reynolds number - Laminar and turbulent boundary layer - Compressibility of fluids: the speed of sound - Shock waves and Mach lines. Applied Aerodynamics - The finite wing: the induced drag. The Oswald factor. The wing polar - Flap systems - The polar of the complete aircraft. Polar construction: build-up method - Aerodynamic efficiency - The measurement of speed on board: the Pitot tube - IAS, CAS, EAS, TAS. Introduction to Flight Mechanics: hypothesis - Uniform leveled motion: necessary speeds, thrusts and powers - Aeronautical propulsion: thrusts and available power of propellers and turbojets and their dependence on altitude - Comparison between the necessary and available characteristics - Ceiling altitude. Climbing flight: approximate treatment - Variometric speed - Rapid ascent and steep ascent The gliding flight: motion equations - Range and Endurance in gliding flight - Hodograph curve of gliding flight- Influence of wind on gliding flight - Air and ground speed. Maneuvering flight: accelerations and load factor - Real weight and apparent weight - The normal load factor and its limitations - The maneuver diagram - The burst diagram. The turning flight: necessary speed, thrust and power, load factor and its limitation. Minimum turn radius - Standard turn - Maneuvering speed. Pull-up maneuver and its limitations. Take-off: on ground and in air phases - Characteristic speeds at take-off - Decision speed - Calculation of the take-off distance - Landing: in air and on the ground phases- Calculation of the landing distance. Aircraft consumptions and autonomies: - Qualitative analysis of autonomies - Specific consumption, mileage and hourly consumption - Distance and duration autonomy of propeller and turbojet - Breguet's formulas.

The Flight Mechanics Course is divided into four main parts: the first describes the main characteristics of the various types of aircrafts, their architecture and the function of the various parts; the second one describes the standard atmosphere and highlights the properties of the fluids and the effects of the interaction of a body in relative motion respect to the surrounding air, arriving at the formulation of the aerodynamic forces and moments. The third part involves the study of the interaction of a fixed wing aircraft, starting from the aerodynamic formulations.
The fourth and final part deals with the study of aircraft performance in all phases of the flight, from take-off to landing, with particular attention to maneuvered flight and its limitations

Teaching Methods

The teaching methodology provides frontal lessons with the help of the traditional blackboard and chalk: the mathematical topics are built step by step, the formulas developed step by step. To deepen some topics, images and films received from the Internet will be used. For the practical and computing part we will use matlab-simulink tutorials.


- Lecture notes available on intranet
- V. Losito: Fondamenti di Aeronautica Generale
- Anderson, Jr, Introduction to flight
- A.C. Kermode: Mechanics of Flight.

Learning assessment

The examination consists of an oral test: the student presents and analizes a paper prepared by himself that contains the study and the evaluation of the performance of an aircraft, ducted by matlab. Some questions about the main topics of the corse follow.

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