Course detail: Aerodynamic Design of Commercial Airplanes

In this course participants learn how aerodynamics drive the detailed exterior design of transport aircraft. What aerodynamic phenomena play a role in the exterior design of a wing, a cockpit or an engine intake? What is the effect of aerodynamic add-ons such as vortex generators, fairings or winglets? What are the advantages and penalties of wing sweep, and how can the penalties be mitigated by the aerodynamic design of the wing? These are some of the questions this course addresses. Participants learn how the various aircraft components should be shaped in order to fulfill aerodynamic requirements in all corners of the flight envelope. The strong ties between aircraft performance, aircraft aerodynamics, and aircraft exterior design are also demonstrated through numerous historical and contemporary examples. Although the main focus is on jet aircraft, the course also covers the effects of propeller installation on the aerodynamic design of the empennage.


  • Causes for interference drag in high-subsonic conditions
  • Effect of Reynolds number on shock-boundary-layer interaction
  • Design characteristics of supercritical airfoils
  • Mach number effects on flow over multi-element airfoils
  • Design of root and tip of swept-wing aircraft
  • Stability and control beyond the maximum operating Mach number
  • Propeller slipstream effects on longitudinal stability and yawing moment
  • Design constraints resulting from transonic buffet
  • Stalling characteristics of wings with high-lift devices

Who Should Attend?
Designed for aeronautical engineers, pilots with some engineering background, government research laboratory personnel, engineering managers and educators.

Course Fees
Early registration fee: $2,595 if you register and pay by the early registration deadline (45 days prior to the first day of class).
Regular registration fee: $2,795 if you register and pay after the early registration deadline.

Netherlands Defence Academy Discount
This course is available to Netherlands Defence Academy employees at a discounted registration fee. Please contact the NDA Procurement and Contracting department for details. Please note that you cannot register using our online system when requesting this discount.

U.S. Federal Employee Discount
This course is available to U.S. federal employees at 10% off the registration fee. To receive the federal employee discount, you must enter the code FGVT116 during the checkout process. Please note that you must validate your eligibility to receive this discount by entering your U.S. government email address (ending in .gov or .mil) when creating your online registration profile. This discount is available for both the early registration and regular registration fees.

Certificate Track
Aircraft Design

Classroom hours / CEUs
35 classroom hours
3.5 CEUs

Course Accessibility
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to participate in University of Kansas educational offerings. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in our Aerospace Short Courses, please email or call 785-864-6779 at least three weeks before the first day of the event.
Please note: If you are attending an Aerospace Short Course onsite at your place of employment, please contact your company's training coordinator for accommodation requests.

Course Resources
Roelof Vos discusses Aerodynamic Design of Transport Aircraft (video)
AERO0041 Course Information and Outline

Available sessions