The module descriptors for our undergraduate courses can be found below:

  • Four year Aeronautical Engineering degree (H401)
  • Four year Aeronautical Engineering with a Year Abroad stream (H410)

Students on our H420 programme follow the same programme as the H401 spending fourth year in industry.

The descriptors for all programmes are the same (including H411).



Module aims

This module introduces the theory and practice of aeroelasticity in fixed-wing aircraft. Aeroelasticity is concerned with coupled problems involving structural dynamics and unsteady flows, such as vibrations of wings in flight, their dynamic response to atmospheric turbulence, and the changes on control effectiveness of deforming air vehicles. All those are addressed in this module, which will introduce the most common analytical and numerical models used for aeroelastic analysis.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, you should be able to:
1. Explain the interaction between aerodynamic, elastic, inertia and actuator forces which gives rise to aeroelastic phenomena. 
2. Formulate mathematically the equations of motion or equilibrium, and their corresponding stability characteristics, for aeroelastic systems and interpret their solutions for different aircraft configurations. 
3. Identify and contrast the key factors that may lead to aircraft flutter and of the design strategies that may be used to prevent them; 

4. Appraise the scope of loads and aeroelasticity within aircraft design and awareness of the analysis tools used in the aerospace industry. 

Module syllabus

1) Introduction to aeroelastic and aeroservoelastic phenomena and their causes. 

2) Review of energy methods in structural dynamics and linear aerodynamics. 
3) Static aeroelasticity: divergence and control reversal of wings, Ritz-Galerkin solutions for static aeroelasticity in arbitrary wings. 
4) Linear solutions on impulsive flows over aerofoils, unsteady aerodynamics. 
5) Dynamic aeroelastic modelling: rational-function approximations, state-space descriptions.
6) Flutter of aerofoils and wings. 
7) Dynamic response to discrete gusts and atmospheric turbulence.

Teaching methods

The module will be delivered primarily through large-class lectures introducing the key concepts and methods, supported by a variety of delivery methods combining the traditional and the technological.  The content is presented via a combination of slides, whiteboard and visualizer, supported by extensive notes with all mathematical derivations.

Learning will be reinforced through tutorial question sheets that will be discussed in tutorial lessons. 


This module presents opportunities for both formative and summative assessment.  
You will be formatively assessed through progress tests and tutorial sessions. 
You will have additional opportunities to self-assess your learning via tutorial problem sheets. 
You will be summatively assessed by a written 2-hour examination in the Summer term.

You will receive feedback on examinations in the form of an examination feedback report on the performance of the entire cohort.
You will receive feedback on your performance whilst undertaking tutorial exercises, during which you will also receive instruction on the correct solution to tutorial problems.
Further individual feedback will be available to you on request via this module’s online feedback forum, through staff office hours and discussions with tutors. 

Module leaders

Professor Rafael Palacios