Introduction to Aeronautical Engineering

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Course Date: 01 September 2014

Price: free

Course Summary

Discover the fascinating world of aviation by investigating aeronautics, with a closer look at aerodynamics and flight mechanics.

Course Instructors

Jacco M. Hoekstra

Professor CNS/ATM (Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management)After 16 years of researcher and manager in the field of flight simulation, handling qualities, avionics, human factors and CNS/ATM at the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) of the Netherlands, a.o. working for the FAA and NASA, professor Hoekstra was asked to be the Dean of the Aerospace Engineering faculty of the Delft University of Technology.After serving two terms as dean, he was appointed as chairholder CNS/ATM at the Control & Simulation group at this faculty. Apart from the awards for his research, he has also been chosen as best teacher of the faculty and is the recipient of the International Open Courseware award for multimedia usage in 2013.Professor Hoekstra is the course coordinator of this course.

Jos Sinke

Jos Sinke is Assistant Professor at the Department of Aerospace Structures and Materials of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft. At this Faculty he also got his MSc-degree. His expertise is on the workshop properties and manufacturing processes of metal alloys, hybrid materials like Fiber Metal Laminates, and composites. Besides lecturing, he is involved in many different research projects, like the application of GLARE in the Airbus A-380 and the development of production processes for the Aerospace industry and metal workshops. The most recent research topics he has been working on are manufacturing using soft tools and the application of the Tailor Made Blank concept in Aerospace. At the moment his focus is on the elastic responses of materials upon manufacturing processes, like spring back in sheet forming and distortions of laminated products after curing.

Nando Timmer

Nando Timmer is lecturer and research engineer at the department of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy and Flight Mechanics & Propulsion at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TUDelft. His research focusses on the aerodynamics of wind turbine rotor blades, and more in particular on the design and wind tunnel testing of wind turbine dedicated airfoils. At present about 50% of the large wind turbines worldwide incorporate one or more of these DU airfoils or derivatives in their blades. He teaches aerodynamics and wind energy and is the coordinator for the 2nd year project System Design. He is also a member of the organizing committee for the Design Synthesis Exercise, the faculty’s bachelor final project. Recently he was appointed scientific director of the wind tunnel laboratories of the Aerospace faculty.

Mark Voskuijl

Mark Voskuijl is Assistant Professor in Flight Mechanics and Propulsion at Delft University of Technology since 2007, where he is responsible for various lectures, projects and final thesis work related to flight mechanics. His main research focus is on the flight mechanics of unconventional fixed- and rotary wing aircraft. He completed his PhD at the Flight Science and Technology research group of the University of Liverpool within the ‘helicopter active control technology’ project (HELI-ACT), that focusses on the benefits of novel active control concepts applied to the mutual improvement of handling qualities, flight envelope protection and structural load alleviation for helicopters.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of and introduction to the fundamentals of aeronautics, using the history of aviation as a story line. The course uses examples from the very beginning of aviation (the Montgolfier brothers' balloon flight in 1783 and the Wright brothers' heavier-than-air flight in 1903) and continues all the way through to the current Airbus A380 and future aircraft.  This trajectory will start with a general introduction to aeronautics, to be followed by a closer look at aerodynamics and flight performance.


Roughly how many hours will I have to spend on the course? About 12 hours a week. How much does it cost to take the course? Nothing! The course is free. Will the text of the lectures be available? Yes. All of our lectures will have transcripts synced to the videos. Do I need to watch the lectures live? No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure. Will certificates be awarded? Yes. Online learners who achieve a passing grade in a course are awarded a certificate of mastery. The certificate indicates that the learner has successfully completed the course, but does not include a specific grade. Certificates are issued by edX under the name of DelftX, designating the institution from which the course originated. Can I contact the instructor or teaching assistants? Yes, but not directly. The discussion forums are the appropriate venue for questions about the course. The instructors monitor the discussion forums and try to respond to the most important questions; in many cases response from other students and peers will be both adequate and faster. Is this course related to a TU Delft campus course? The material treated in this course forms part of the BSc programme in Aerospace Engineering, but the MOOC certificate does not offer any exemptions.

Course Prerequisites

High school level Mathematics & Physics.

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