81826 - Principles of Aerospace Engineering

Course Unit Page


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

Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows basic concepts related to the main disciplines of the BSc in Aerospace Engineering. In particular, the course aims to introduce students of the first year to problems related to the design and use of aerospace vehicles, providing basic elements of the principles of flight.

Course contents

-Nomenclature and classification of vehicles operating in air and space. Notes on aerodynamics basic concepts, classification and features of wing airfoils.

-Aircraft architecture and geometric description: nomenclature of aircraft parts.

-Notes on the space vehicles architecture. Notes on the atmospheric vehicles performances.

-Material properties and methodologies for structural analysis of aircraft.

-Introduction to aeronautical and space propulsion systems and on-board systems.

-Notes on ergonomics, flight simulation and human factors.

-Introduction to the 3D modelling with CAD systems. Modelling of simple aerospace components and structures.


Specific books aren't required for the course. The slides projected in class are made available to students through the appropriate space for sharing the teaching material provided by the University fo Bologna (virtuale.unibo.it).

For further reading the student may refer to:

John Anderson, Introduction to Flight-7th edition, McGraw-Hill Education 2011


Teaching methods

The teaching consists of 3CFU, corresponding to 30 hours, of which 24 (typically 8 lessons of 3h each one) of lectures and 6 (typically 8 lessons of 3h each one) of practical exercises of CAD modelling of aerospace components in the laboratory. Theoretical lessons are carried out by projecting slides prepared by the teacher on the projector, which can be supplemented by further diagrams drawn on the blackboard to make students better understand the concepts if deemed necessary. Practical exercises are carried out in the IT laboratory. The goal of practical lessons is to provide students with the first principles of CAD modelling and to familiarize themselves with the geometry of typical aerospace components.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 (https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas) on Health and Safety online.

Assessment methods

The final exam evaluates the achievement of the educational objectives:

-familiarization with the basic elements of the main specific disciplines of the Aerospace Engineering Degree Course.

- knowledge of the main problems related to the design and use of aerospace machines.

- knowledge of the basic elements of flight principles.

The exam has a positive outcome based on the result of a written exam in which the student must answer two specific questions on topics addressed during the course.

At the end of the course the teacher will deliver to the students a parametric drawing of a CAD component in which the dimensions are linked to individual data (combinations of numbers of the University ID serial number). Students are asked to model the part before the exam individually, and to deliver during the exam some images of the CAD model drawn to demonstrate that the first rudiments of CAD 3d modelling have been learned.

Teaching tools

The teaching material presented in class will be made available to the student in electronic format via the Internet. To obtain the educational material: https://iol.unibo.it/. Access to the resources reserved to the students of the University of Bologna who includes the course in the study plan, for personal use only.

Furthermore, the teacher during the lessons could suggest further sources in which to deepen the concepts exposed during the course, based on specific requests from the students.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Ceruti