Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


4000 level

Course handbook


This course gives a thorough grounding in the essential methods and processes involved in the design, test and dynamic response of aircraft structures. It builds upon background in mechanical design and mechanics of solids and considers how these and more elaborate concepts and methods are applied to the analysis of aircraft structural strength and the design of aircraft structural components. It covers design regulations, flight loads analysis and structural design methods. It covers aeroelasticity and aeroelastic stability and response. It further investigates the links between other aircraft systems like propulsion, sensing and control actuation systems, the structural loads they create, and the static and dynamic responses of the structure to them. Aircraft construction techniques are considered as part of the process, as are testing, validation and verification of structural integrity relative to certification requirements. Case studies of incidents and accidents will be used to elucidate important historical lessons regarding aircraft structural dynamics and failure, reparations and redesign. Students will gain experience from group activities involving analysis and design of aircraft structural components and testing of their performance.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Estimate flight loads and determine their interaction with an aircraft structure.

2. Interpret aircraft design and certification regulations regarding aircraft structural integrity.

3. Apply the principles of structural analysis and strength estimation to the design of aircraft structural components and validate them against regulations.

4. Apply construction approaches to the fabrication of structural components for test and evaluation.

5. Analyse the stiffness, compliance and modal dynamic behaviour of an aircraft structure.

6. Analyse the interactions between the dynamic structure and the sensing and control systems of an aircraft, and the cross-implications on the design/redesign of each.


  1. Aircraft structural components and design characteristics.
  2. Structural design regulations and certification requirements. 
  3. Flight loads estimation - tensile, compressive, bending and cyclic loads. Failure modes.
  4. Stress, strain, shear, shear flow, buckling, fatigue and component sizing.
  5. Analysis of plates and shells.
  6. Structural stiffness and compliance. Static and dynamic structural responses to loading.
  7. Aircraft construction techniques.
  8. Aeroelasticity and dynamic airframe response.
  9. Integration and interaction of aircraft structures with other aircraft systems – sensors and actuators, propulsion and control systems.
  10. Case studies – lessons from incidents and accidents involving structural loading, dynamics, stability and failure.
  11. Group activities in aircraft structural design, testing, evaluation and integration with other aircraft systems.

Assumed knowledge

CIVL1100, MECH1110, MECH2430, MECH2360, AERO3000

Assessment items

Report: Structural Design Analysis

Report: Airframe Component Design

Report: Airframe Component Test Laboratory

Report: Airframe Dynamics Laboratory

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 2 Weeks


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.