This module can be taken as a Short Course for Credit or a Standalone Short Course.

Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

This module will provide students with an understanding of the principles, concepts and analysis techniques of fixed-wing platforms.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost

    Short Course for Credit fee - £1,310

    Standalone Short Course fee - £1,750

    Concessions available

What you will learn

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:


  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the fundamental concepts of fixed- wing aerodynamics and flight mechanics.


  • Relate the flight envelope and control surfaces to an aircraft’s trim and stability,
  • Relate the principles of flight mechanics and the fundamental concepts of subsonic and supersonic aerodynamics to aircraft analysis.

Core content

  • Aerodynamics: fundamental definitions; basic fluid dynamics; basic aerodynamics; the origins of lift; drag subsonic flight speeds; compressible flow; transonic flight; supersonic flight; drag reduction in high-speed flight.
  • Aerostructures: history of aircraft structural design developments; fundamental aerospace stress and structural analysis methods; structural layout methods; structural loads.
  • Flight mechanics 1: performance; airspeeds; cruise performance; mass definitions; climbing and descending flight; manoeuvres; take-off and landing; energy-height concept. 
  • Flight mechanics 2: trim, stability and control; longitudinal static stability; lateral/directional static stability; lateral dynamic stability; control methods.
  • Tutorials.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as a Short Course for Credit, 10 credit points can be put towards the Military Aerospace and Airworthiness MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.


A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available.

Location and travel

Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) is a Cranfield University School based at the Ministry of Defence establishment at Shrivenham, on the Oxfordshire/ Wiltshire border.

Shrivenham itself lies in the picturesque Vale of the White Horse, close to the M4 motorway which links London and South Wales. It is 7 miles from Swindon, the nearest town, which lies off the M4 at the hub of Britain’s motorway network.

Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol and Oxford are all within an hour’s drive and London less than two hours away by car.

All visitors must be pre-booked in at reception by the person they are visiting on the campus.

For further location and travel details.

How to apply

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

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.