Course detail: Airplane Preliminary Design

This course provides an overview of the fixed-wing airplane design decision-making process and the relation of design to manufacturing, maintainability and cost-effectiveness. It is applicable to jet transport, turboprop commuter transport, military (trainers, fighter bomber, UAV) and general aviation aircraft. The design process covers sizing (weight, wing area, thrust/power), aerodynamics, weight and balance, stability, control and cost. Numerous examples are shown. Lessons learned and "what to watch out for" are discussed.

  • Review of drag polar breakdown for subsonic and supersonic airplanes
  • Preliminary sizing of airplane takeoff, empty and fuel weights for a given mission specification
  • Performance constraint analyses
  • Preliminary configuration selection
  • Fundamentals of fuselage and wing layout design
  • High-lift and lateral control design considerations
  • Fundamentals of powerplant integration
  • Fundamentals of landing gear layout design
  • Class I weight and balance prediction
  • Class II weight, balance and moment of inertia prediction
  • Fundamentals of static longitudinal stability
  • Deep stall and how to design for recoverability
  • Takeoff rotation and the effect of landing gear location
  • Review of dynamic stability concepts and prediction methods
  • Unusual configurations
  • Design optimization
  • Cost
Who Should Attend?
Aeronautical engineers, mechanical engineers and electrical engineers needing to learn more about design, pilots with some engineering background, government research laboratory personnel, engineering managers and educators.

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 913-897-8530 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.

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Course Resources
Willem Anemaat discusses Airplane Preliminary Design (video)
AERO0130 Course Information and Outline (PDF Document)

Available sessions