93754 - Principles Of Aerospace Propulsion

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Fabrizio Ponti
  • Credits: 3
  • SSD: ING-IND/07
  • Language: English
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Forli
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Aerospace Engineering (cod. 5723)

    Also valid for Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Aerospace Engineering (cod. 5723)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, the students know the fundamentals of thrust generation. A brief overview of the different engines capable to generate thrust is given discussing the range of application for each of them.

Course contents

Thrust, power, propulsion efficiency. Evaluation with respect the ratio between the vehicle speed and the gas speed exiting the engine.

Gas turbine engines
Introduction to the main gas turbine engine architectures: turbojet, turbofan and turboprop.
Thrust for airbreathing engines. By-pass ratio. Thrust for engines with high by-pass ratio.
Thermodynamic, propulsion and total efficiencies. Take off thrust and maximum range. Performance, Thrust Specific Fuel Consumption: typical values for ramjet, turbojet, turbofan and turboprop.
Thermodynamics of gas turbine: Optimization of the Brayton cycle, compression ratio variation effects on efficiency and specific work produced, maximum cycle temperature influence on cycle efficiency. Isentropic and polytropic efficiencies for compression and expansion.
Gas turbine engines static components: Intake (sub-sonic and super-sonic), nozzle, combustion chamber.

Rocket propulsion introduction. Chemical rockets configurations: liquid and solid propellants.


Sutton - Rocket Propulsion - John Wiley & Sons, New York

Hill & Peterson - Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion -Addison-Wesley Publishing Company - New York

Teaching methods

The lessons are blended with some students in classroom and others on-line. All the information and the material that is needed in order to successfully pass the exam are presented by the teacher at the board.

Attendance is strongly recommended for an improved learning of concepts and notions, but does not affect the final evaluation process.

Assessment methods

Final exam will be a discussion during which students will be asked theoretical questions about the subjects explained during the course.

In the course of the examination it will be also assessed student's ability to resolve new problems or at least to set up the correct resolutive strategy.

The evaluation, expressed in thirtieths, will be higher the more the student is:

  • autonomous in articulating responses to the two questions;
  • exhaustive in explaining the arguments;
  • precise in representing the functionality of the free-hand sketches.

Teaching tools

Teacher's notes are available onVirtuale

Office hours

See the website of Fabrizio Ponti


Quality education Climate Action

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.