The course aims to give an introduction to aircraft engine control issues and systems.

Cranfield has for many years had one of the largest programmes in the world of short courses in Gas Turbine Technology.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£1710.  The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately. Concessions available

Course structure

This five-day course is presented through lectures and tutorials. Printed supplements are provided for much of the material covered in the course. A number of worked examples are undertaken by the delegates. Active participation from the delegates is strongly encouraged. All delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of this course.

What you will learn

On completion of the course delegates should be able to understand both the demands of the engine and the design and performance constraints of the control system.

Core content

Compressor Performance

  • The difficulty of compressing air
  • The overall compressor characteristic and various forms of graphical presentation
  • Running line and surge line
  • Performance limitations at low rotational speed and low airflow
  • Design for surge alleviation
  • The use of variable inlet guide vanes, variable stators, air bleed, multi-spooling.

Axial Turbine Performance

  • Overall problems of expanding gas flows
  • Performance at maximum flow
  • Effect of changes in inlet temperature and pressure
  • The turbine overall performance characteristic.
  • Factors affecting efficiency

Introduction to Engine Control Systems

  • A high level overview of an aero-engine control system, introducing the major elements. 
  • Discuss issues that drive the design of an engine control system including certification requirements, cost, despatchability and environment. 
  • Describe the concepts behind modern engine control and specifically FADEC, highlighting interface issues with major components that are covered in detail throughout the course.

Airframe Fuel Systems

  • An introduction to how fuel is stored, used and handled in the airframe
  • The impact of the airframe fuel system on the performance requirements of the engine fuel system.

Fuel Properties

  • An introduction to the physical properties of fuel and how they effect how it is handled by the fuel system.

Engine Fuel Handling Systems

  • Typical system architecture and components, e.g. fuel pumps, filters and heat exchangers
  • The concept of Net Positive Suction Pressure (NPSP)
  • Low pressure pump types
  • Difference between positive displacement and rotodynamic pumps, types of positive displacement pumps
  • Mechanical design considerations
  • Calculating pump heat rejection.

Engine Control Systems

  • Why do we need an engine control system?
  • How is the engine controlled?
  • Control Laws
  • Safety Features
  • System Test
  • Future Control Systems.

Hydromechanical Fuel Metering

Brief history of fuel control architectures leading to FADEC systems; Functions required by modern FADEC based fuel controls; impact of reliability requirements on modern fuel control architecture; modern fuel control architecture; basic principles of fuel flow; fuel metering; electrical interface devices used on modern fuel controls; engine actuation; demonstration of modern fuel control hardware; fitness for purpose, future trends in fuel control.

Electronic Engine Control

Describe how the selection of EEC architecture will determine the fault tolerance of the control system. Describe the main components of the EEC; Power supply, Computer, Sensor conditioning and Actuator drives. Provide detail on specific circuit design details to illustrate inner control loops, utilising a combination of hardware and software fault detection with engine control laws. Describe the software design and validation process, giving examples of functional code. Discuss the installation environment with associated mechanical packaging constraints. Describe the testing required for qualification of the FADEC system. Other industrial presentations may be included as appropriate.

Who should attend

The course will be of benefit to gas turbine engineers who are closely associated with control systems and organisation and, conversely, to control engineers who work closely with gas turbine manufacturers. The course will also benefit those involved with the certification, performance and maintenance of such equipment.


This short course is a module within the MSc in Thermal Power which is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).


Presented jointly with Rolls-Royce 


The course is presented through lectures and tutorials conducted by members of Cranfield University’s staff all of whom have considerable academic and industrial experience.  Additional lectures will be presented by senior engineers from industry.


20% discount for Cranfield Alumni. 
10% discount when registering 3 or more delegates, from the same organisation at the same time.
Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme. Please ask about our discount scheme at the time of booking.

Accommodation options and prices

We are pleased to offer an exclusive accommodation package at Mitchell Hall. Located on campus, all rooms are en-suite and available on a half-board basis from Sunday to Friday. The cost of this package is £560. If you would like to book this accommodation package* for this short course, please indicate this on the registration form.
*Subject to availability.

Alternatively, you may wish to make your own arrangement at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.