93848 - Atmospheric Flight Dynamics

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Fabrizio Giulietti

  • Credits 6

  • SSD ING-IND/03

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Forli

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Aerospace Engineering (cod. 5723)

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

  • Course Timetable from Feb 21, 2023 to May 31, 2023


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Starting from the six degrees-of-freedom equations of motion, fundamentals of aircraft longitudinal and lateral-directional dynamics are addressed. Relationship between geometric, inertial and aerodynamic features to pilot commands and external disturbances are highlighted.

Course contents


Reference Frames, Attitude representation, Euler Angles, Rotation matrices, Rigid Body equations of motion.


Aircraft external efforts: gravitational, propulsive and aerodynamic forces and moments, wind gusts and turbulence Aircraft dynamics linearisation, Stability derivatives, Decoupled Lon-lat models Longitudinal dynamics: Short Period, Phugoid Modes Lateral-directional dynamics: DR, Roll, Spiral Modes. Roll/yaw coupling


Rotary Wing aircraft layout. Fundamentals of rotor dynamics. Helicopters and multi-rotor aircraft modelling and simulation. 


Block diagrams, transfer function Laplace transforms, 1 & 2 order systems theory Root Locus, Bode Diagrams, Gain and Phase margin technique Introduction to atmospheric fligth control systems: SAS, CSAS, Autopilot schemes HQ, handling qualities Aircraft Longitudinal Control: Pitch Damper, Attitude Control, Flight Path Autopilots (speed & altitude) Aircraft Lat/Dir Control: Roll&Yaw Dampers, Turn Coordination, Flight Path Autopilots (heading) Human pilot in the Loop Multirotors feedback control (with practical sessions)


1] McLean, Automatic Flight Control Systems, Prentice Hall

2] Ashkenas, Aircraft Dynamics and Automatic Control, Wiley

3] Ogata, Modern Control Engineering, Wiley

4] Stevens and Lewis, Aircraft Simulation and Control

Teaching methods

Class Lectures

Matlab/Simulink workshops

Flight experience with instructor

Assessment methods

1] Multiple choice questions (20')

2] Written exams with theory and exercises (1h 20')

3] Practical session with simulation software with oral discussion (1h 15')

Teaching tools

Software simulation models for atmospheric flight dynamics assessment and control system design.

Class lecture notes will be uploaded (.pdf files) on Insegnamenti on Line platform.

Office hours

See the website of Fabrizio Giulietti