Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Students learn how to represent and evaluate aircraft stability, controllability and handling qualities. Commencing with the characterisation of aerodynamic properties, the course develops the mathematical representations and tools used to model the dynamics and stability of an aircraft, and its response to control. Students will obtain practical numerical skills in mathematical representation through flight simulation.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Mathematically represent the motion of an aircraft.

2. Estimate aerodynamic and control derivatives and their effects on equilibrium.

3. Analyse aircraft equilibrium and trim conditions.

4. Evaluate flight stability and interpret its impact on aircraft operations and pilot workload.

5. Appraise the handling qualities of an aircraft.

6. Model aircraft flight behaviours using computational techniques.

7. Analyse flight control mechanisms and critique their effectiveness.

8. Participate as an effective group member in a group project.


  1. Representations of aircraft state.
  2. Characterisation of aerodynamic properties.
  3. Reference frames, axis systems and the representation of aircraft motion in six-degrees-of-freedom.
  4. Introduction to stability concepts.
  5. General equations of aircraft motion.
  6. Aircraft static stability, equilibrium and trim.
  7. Longitudinal and Lateral-Directional Motions.
  8. Dynamic aircraft stability, controllability and handling qualities.
  9. Time-domain solution of equations of motion. 
  10. Computational flight simulation.
  11. Conventional flight controls and actuation systems.
  12. Regulatory requirements relating to aircraft handling qualities.

Assumed knowledge

AERO2000 Aircraft Performance and Operations

MATH2310 Calculus of Science and Engineering

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Modelling Aircraft Motion

Written Assignment: Aircraft Aerodynamics Modelling and Static Stability

Written Assignment: Flight Simulation and Dynamics Assessment

Written Assignment: Aircraft Handling Qualities Assessment

Quiz: In-class quizzes

Formal Examination: Formal Examination *

* 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. - Students whose overall mark in the course is 50% or more, but who score less than 50% in this compulsory item and thus fail to demonstrate the required proficiency, will be awarded a Criterion Fail grade, which will show as FF on their formal transcript. However, students in this position who have scored at least 40% in this compulsory item will be allowed to undertake a supplementary 'capped' assessment in which they can score at most 50% of the possible mark for that item.

Contact hours



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


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.