Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


4000 level

Course handbook


This course is intended to introduce students to the process, techniques and regulations of aerospace system design. The course considers the configuration design of a complete aerospace vehicle system at the conceptual stage to meet a pre-defined set of requirements. The course covers aerospace design regulations, design requirements, design cycles and the approvals process. It will draw together the background covered in aircraft performance, dynamics and propulsion courses to optimise the design of the aerospace vehicle to meet a set of requirements. The course will consider the integration of other subsystems, the implied requirements on those systems and the effects of subsystem requirements on the aerospace vehicle configuration. The course will provide students with opportunities to apply all of their aeronautical knowledge, to perform effectively in group activities and develop their team participation and management skills through a systems engineering process.



  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Design an aerospace vehicle concept and articulate its benefits in written and verbal forms.

2. Apply the physical principles of aircraft performance, stability and controllability, and propulsion to the aerospace vehicle design process.

3. Engage effectively in design teams and inter-disciplinary negotiations.

4. Apply the principles of system engineering to an aerospace vehicle system design at the concept stage.

5. Assess the requirements of ancillary aerospace vehicle systems and their effects on primary systems design considerations.


  • Aerospace design requirements and regulations.
  • The aerospace vehicle design process, design philosophies and approaches.
  • Weight, lift, drag, thrust and flight loads estimation.
  • Aerospace vehicle configuration design: performance estimation, aerodynamic design, propulsion system design, structural design and materials, weight and balance.
  • Handling qualities and control system requirements/estimation.
  • ‘Systems of systems’ engineering philosophy and systems engineering principles and practice. Subsystems requirements, design and system integration.
  • Design, specification and integration of aerospace vehicle subsystems.
  • Case studies – lessons from incidents and accidents involving aerospace vehicle design and failure.
  • Group activities in aerospace vehicle and subsystem design and evaluation.

Assumed knowledge

AERO2000 Aircraft Performance and Operations

AERO3000 Flight Dynamics

AERO3400 Aerospace Propulsion Systems

Assessment items

Report: Aerospace Vehicle Design Project (Progress Report)

Report: Aerospace Vehicle Design Project (Final Report)

Report: Aerospace Vehicle System Assessment

Quiz: Quiz

Contact hours



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

3 hours on one day near the end of the semester.


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


Face to Face On Campus 3 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.