Introduction to Flight Mechanics and Control

Key Facts
Contact Prof. Dr.-Ing. Florian Holzapfel
David Braun, M.Sc.
Language of Instructions English (incl. exam)
Language of Materials English (& German)
Type / ECTS Lecture, Exercise / 5 (Bachelor Module)
Semester Winter Semester
Time and Place Lecture: Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30, digital (TUM-Online)
Exercise: Thursdays, 12:45-13:30, digital (TUM-Online)
Related Links Moodle: Lecture and Tutorials
Introducing Poster
Prerequisites none
Content / Educational Objectives The lecture “Introduction to Flight Mechanics and Flight Control” shall give an overview over the subjects, which are provided by the institute of Flight System Dynamics during the master study “Aeronautical Engineering”. The following headwords shall describe the main content of the lecture:

  1. Coordinate systems used in aerospace engineering and transformation between them
  2. ISA standard atmosphere
  3. Forces and moments at the aircraft
  4. Equations of motion considering the aircraft as point mass
  5. Flight Phases
  6. Equation of motion considering the aircraft as rigid body
  7. Static Stability
  8. Eigen-motions of the aircraft and dynamic stability
  9. Overview Flight Controller
    • Stability augmentation
    • Control augmentation
  10. Autopilots

These headwords cover a wide range of the subjects, which are content of the lectures “Aircraft Performance”, “Flight Dynamics, Stability and Control” and “Fundamentals of Flight Control”. Since those lectures explain the issues on a high level of detail, the intention of the present lecture is giving an overview. Therefore, simplifying assumptions, such as “ no wind”, “flat non-rotating earth” or “thrust exactly in direction of speed” are introduced to reduce the complexity.

Teaching Methods / Materials
  • Scriptum Introduction in Flight System Dynamics and Flight Control
  • Exercises Introduction in Flight System Dynamics and Flight Control
  • Exam type: written
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Mixture of short questions and calculations
  • Closed book, with calculator (non-programmable)
Reference Literature
  • Brockhaus, R. et. al.: Flugregelung, 3 neu bearb. Aufl., Springer, Berlin, 2011
  • Roskam, J.: Airplane Flight Dynamics and Automatic Flight Control, Part I and II, DARCorporation, Lewrence, KS, 1998,
  • Sevens, B.L. & Lewis F.L.: Aircraft Control and Simulation, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1995
  • Schmidt L.V.: Intorduction to Aircraft Dynamics, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston, VA, 1998,
  • Abzug, M.J.: Computational Flight Dynamics, Americal Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston, VA, 1998,
  • Hafer, X. & Sachs, G.: Flugmechanik – Moderne Entwurfs- und Steuerungskonzepte, 3. Auflage, Springer, Berlin, 1993
  • Russel, J.B.: Performance and Stability of Aircraft, John Wiley & Sons, Baffins Lane, 1998