Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces students to critical factors that affect the performance, operation and design of aircraft. The course has a strong emphasis on the physical understanding of aircraft performance including take-off speeds, climb rates, turns, cruise, and descent and landing performance. The course covers operational issues including the regulatory environment for aircraft, and addresses economic considerations.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Accurately calculate speed, climb, descent, range and endurance characteristics of aircraft.

2. Correctly identify the relative advantages and disadvantages of various aircraft propulsion systems.

3. Confidently discuss the regulatory environment for aircraft operations.

4. Apply the concepts of aircraft longitudinal static stability, control, and weight and balance to aircraft operations.

5. Participate as an effective group member in a group project and produce a professional report.

6. Competently discuss issues of aircraft operation including noise and aviation certification requirements.


  1. Introduction to aircraft lift, drag and thrust and how they relate to aircraft performance
  2. Introduction to aircraft propulsion systems including jet engines, turboprop and piston-prop engines
  3. Australian and international aviation regulatory requirements
  4. Cruising altitudes and performance limitations
  5. Aircraft climb and decent angles and rates, and cruise conditions
  6. Introduction to concepts of aircraft longitudinal static stability and control, and weight and balance
  7. Optimal cruise and climb performance, range and endurance
  8. Turn performance
  9. Take-off and landing performance
  10. Safe aircraft operation procedures
  11. Economic considerations

Assumed knowledge

MATH1120 Mathematics for Engineering, Science and Technology 2, and PHYS1210 Advanced Physics I

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1 - Aircraft performance

Written Assignment: Assignment 2 - Aircraft performance

Written Assignment: Assignment 3 - Aircraft performance

Quiz: In-class quizzes

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Glider Flight Test Laboratory

Formal Examination: Written Exam *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Formal Examination: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

2 hours and 1 hour


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.