Airworthiness is at the forefront of aviation development. It is vital that staff have sufficient knowledge and skill to apply principles in design, manufacture, operation and maintenance of aircraft to both develop and maintain airworthiness. This part-time course has been developed to meet industry demand for qualified airworthiness specialists and addresses key aspects of aircraft design, construction, operation and maintenance.

At a glance

  • Start dateSeptember
  • DurationTwo-three years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught component 50%, Individual research project 40%, Course portfolio 10%. PgDip: Taught component 83%, Course portfolio 17%. PgCert: Taught component 100%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typePart-time

Who is it for?

The Airworthiness Master's course is highly flexible and designed to meet the needs of individuals who are balancing work commitments with study.  It is especially relevant to engineers and technologists working in the airworthiness field of aviation safety, either in a regulatory authority or in the industry. The format is especially suitable for those who wish to enhance and focus their knowledge in a structured but flexible part-time format while continuing to work.

The subject of your research project can be chosen to match the research needs of your employer and/or your own career ambitions.

Why this course?

This course provides an academically recognised high standard of qualification related to the wide spectrum of technologies met in aerospace. It offers a wide range of technical knowledge in the context of related regulatory and safety issues, a background that managers in today's aerospace industry need to possess. A detailed knowledge of airworthiness issues early in the product development stage helps the downstream business operation which must balance cost and safety. This will also help to optimise the aircraft design, modification and/or the repair process.

We appreciate that students will be balancing employment with study which is why we aim to minimise the number of visits required to Cranfield University and offer modules in one-week blocks. Students undertaking the full MSc programme would be expected to come to Cranfield ten times in the 2-3 year period. We are well located for part-time students from across the world and offer a range of support services for off-site students.

We welcome delegates from all over the world and this provides a unique learning environment for both students and delegates who benefit from the mix of experience and backgrounds. Attendance of our short courses is a popular entry route onto this course as delegates are able to carry their credits forward onto the Airworthiness programme which a choice of qualification levels available to choose from:

  • Master’s Degree (MSc) option of this course consists of a taught element (ten modules), an individual research project and course portfolio
  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) option of this course consists of only the taught element where students must complete six modules
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) option of this course consists of a taught element (ten modules) and course portfolio.

Informed by Industry

The Airworthiness MSc is directed by an Industrial Advisory Board comprising senior representatives from industry. The board acts in an advisory role, assessing the content of the course and its relevance to present industrial needs. Current members include representatives from:

  • Airbus
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Your teaching team

Our staff and industrial experts explain the safety aspects of current airworthiness regulations in relation to the background technology. You will be taught by Cranfield’s leading expects in airworthiness including:

Visiting academics include:

  • Professor John Bristow. Visiting Professor of Structural Integrity with over 40 years' experience in the aircraft industry, in structural design and regulations and who was formerly Head of the Structures and Materials Department of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

We are particularly proud of the wide range of seminars and guest lectures offered to our students, given by senior personnel in the aviation industry. Past speakers include:

  • Systems Process Manager of GE Aerospace
  • Head of Systems (Aircraft) of Raytheon Systems Ltd
  • Chief of Systems Capability of Aero Engine Controls

Accreditation

The MSc in Airworthiness is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAes) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineering.  The MSc in Airworthiness is also subject to ratification by Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) following accreditation visit in June 2015.  Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements
Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)

Course details

There are seven mandatory modules which aim to provide you with a common basis of knowledge and skills on which the specialist options can build further. You are then free to choose three optional modules in line with your developing interests.

The course uses a range of assessment types. Students can expect to have written examinations, assignments and presentations as well as the group design and individual research projects. The range of assessment methods have been chosen to develop skills and be of relevance to the taught materials.


Individual project

The individual research project is completed by students who wish to complete the MSc qualification of the Airworthiness course. The project is normally undertaken in the final year and brings together the learning from the taught components to consolidate learning. The subject of the project is normally chosen to reflect the needs of the sponsoring organisation and/or to match your career ambitions. Project topics represent the broad range of areas covered by the course.

Previous Individual Research Projects have included:

  • An assessment of the applicability of an ageing aircraft audit to the microlight aircraft type
  • The justification of ALARP by Ministry of Defence aircraft project team
  • Introduction of a service bulletin review process in the military environment.

Assessment

Taught component 50%, Individual research project 40%, Course portfolio 10%. PgDip: Taught component 83%, Course portfolio 17%. PgCert: Taught component 100%

Core modules

Airworthiness Fundamentals

Module Leader
  • Dr Simon Place
Aim

    To provide a fundamental knowledge of the requirements for airworthiness in aircraft design, production, operation and maintenance.

Syllabus
    • Introduction to airworthiness
    • Air law
    • Certification process, including the safety assessment of aircraft systems
    • Airworthiness lessons learned: review of significant accidents
    • Production Organisation Approval (POA)
    • Maintenance and operations approvals
    • Continuing airworthiness management
    • Engine certification
    • Application of safety management systems in the field of airworthiness
    • Human factors in maintenance
    • Incident reporting and Service Difficulty Reports (SDRs)
    • Engine failure modes
    • FAA certification of non-US products
    • Current airworthiness challenges
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the legal basis which underpins airworthiness regulation in aircraft design, production, operation and maintenance
  • Interpret the principles of airworthiness as applied to the process of aircraft and engine certification
  • Communicate the importance of airworthiness requirements as they relate to aircraft design, production, operation and maintenance
  • Articulate the process for continuing airworthiness management for different types and sizes of operator.

Safety Assessment of Aircraft Systems

Module Leader
  • Dr Simon Place
Aim

    To familiarise students with the various approaches to the problems of assessing the safety of increasingly complex aircraft systems.

Syllabus
    • Requirements for safety assessment as part of regulatory approval and continued airworthiness process
    • Development of requirements for safety assessment, FAR and EASA CS25-1309
    • Introduction to probability methods and safety analysis techniques
    • Common mode failures
    • Fault tree analysis, dependence diagrams and Boolean algebra for quantification of system reliability
    • Reliability analysis using Weibull distribution
    • Zonal safety analysis (ZSA) and Particular Risk Analysis (PRA)
    • Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
    • Typical safety assessment for a stall warning and identification system
    • Certification maintenance requirements
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Explain the theory behind each technique for safety assessment, including the strengths and weaknesses of each one
  • Evaluate and apply the technique(s) which is most appropriate for the system under consideration
  • Differentiate between the various stages of safety assessment in the development of an aircraft or system
  • Illustrate the issues to be faced in the certification of new systems and aircraft.

Air Transport Engineering - Maintenance Operations

Module Leader
Aim

    To provide students with the fundamentals of the disciplines associated with the management of aircraft maintenance and engineering within today’s air transport industry.

Syllabus
    • Reliability centred maintenance; maintenance programme development: creation of a maintenance programme based on technical requirements and operational priorities; Maintenance Steering Group 3 process.
    • Optimisation of maintenance: outsourcing/in house maintenance; application of lean principles to maintenance operations; maintenance planning; and costs
    • Human factors in aircraft maintenance: error types; models for human factors; classification systems; Maintenance Error Management System;
    • Maintenance Error Decision Aid (MEDA) and other resources
    • Logistics and supply chain management
    • Relationship between manufacturer, operator and maintenance organisation
    • Continuing airworthiness management; cegulatory aspects (EASA Part M) with regard to continuing airworthiness management.  
    • Health and usage monitoring, engine condition monitoring etc.
Intended learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the principles of engineering design for reliable service
  • Critically appraise the various aircraft maintenance philosophies used for in-service aircraft
  • Outline a maintenance management programme, including the control of operational standards, supply chain and cost issues.
  • Develop a process for achieving continuing airworthiness management with the appropriate regulatory approval.

Aircraft Fatigue and Damage Tolerance

Module Leader
Aim

    To familiarise students with fatigue and damage tolerance analysis methods and techniques and their application to aircraft structural design by instruction, investigation and example.

Syllabus

    Introduction to Fatigue Design Philosophies

    • Outline of the fatigue failure process
    • Approaches to design against fatigue
    • Safe-life, fail-safe, and damage tolerance
    • Fatigue life calculation requirements

    Regulatory Background

    • Requirements for fatigue and damage tolerant design for civil and military aircraft
    • Chronology of accidents in relation to aircraft design approach
    • Evolution of requirements
    • Focus on large aeroplanes and rotorcraft.

    Fatigue Analysis 

    • S-N curve approach: the traditional fatigue analysis approach
    • S-N curve approach for low cycle fatigue
    • Mean stress effect
    • Miner’s cumulative damage model
    • Crack initiation life prediction methods
    • Notch effect 
    • Neuber’s approach
    • Calculation of crack initiation life at notch root and fastener holes
    • Worked examples of techniques
    • Aircraft fatigue loading spectrum
    • Aircraft service loads
    • Determination of cumulative frequency load distribution
    • Cycle counting methods.

    Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM)

    • Basic theory of LEFM
    • Crack tip stress intensity factor
    • Strain energy release rate
    • Fracture toughness
    • R-curve
    • Fracture criterion
    • Plane stress and plane strain conditions
    • Plastic zone at crack tip
    • Calculation of residual strength
    • Crack growth under cyclic loading
    • Crack closure effect
    • Overload retardation effect
    • Load sequence effects
    • Predicting crack growth life
    • Computer tools for life assessment: workshop session using the AFGROW package for crack growth prediction
    • Residual strength calculation of stiffened panels
    • Size effect
    • Short crack growth and the limitations of fracture mechanics

    Material Selection

    • Role of strength level and toughness
    • Effect of corrosion on fatigue
    • Comparison of response behaviour of composites and metals to cyclic loading

    Inspection Considerations

    • Methods to establish thresholds
    • Requirements for NDT capability
    • Probability of detection versus crack length
    • Fatigue and fracture analysis of commuter aircraft structures
    • Review of round robin exercise applying analysis techniques to actual aircraft structural components

    Effect of corrosion on fatigue in aluminium alloys

    Ageing Aircraft Structures

    • Multiple-site damage (MSD) phenomenon
    • Effect of ageing
    • Effect of MSD on ageing aircraft
    • Equivalent initial quality flaw size
    • Real examples demonstrated on several aircraft types
    • Widespread fatigue damage (WFD)
    • Limit of validity, current regulatory approach for in-service aircraft
    • Ageing aircraft updates: the revised and expanded requirements for fatigue and damage tolerance evaluation of structures CS25-571 – an overview of EASA NPA 2013

    Fatigue and damage tolerance in helicopters

    • Techniques for design against fatigue and design for damage tolerance
    • Report on a round robin exercise
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of fatigue design and analysis methods
  • Demonstrate an understanding of damage tolerant design and the application of fracture mechanics to aircraft structures
  • Undertake fatigue analysis, residual strength and crack growth calculation for basic structural configurations
  • Relate the design principles involved to structural safety considerations in the appropriate regulatory context, both for new designs and in service aircraft.

Gas Turbine Fundamentals

Module Leader
  • Dr Vassilios Pachidis
Aim

    To provide a general understanding of the principles of gas turbine design and performance appropriate to both manufacturing and user industries.

Syllabus

    Gas Turbine Fundamentals

    Fundamental fluid mechanics applied to the gas turbine engine. Properties of gases including entropy and viscosity. Reynolds number effect and qualitative treatment of boundary layer behaviour. Adiabatic and isentropic flow, static and stagnation conditions. Mass flow functions and choking.

    Gas Turbine Performance

    An introduction to ideal cycles. Component and cycle efficiencies and their relationship with specific consumption and air miles per gallon. Design-point analysis of turbojet, turboprop and turbofan (bypass) cycles. Influence of pressure ratio, peak temperature, by-pass ratio and flight conditions on specific thrust and fuel consumption. Use of non-dimensional groupings.

    Gas Turbine Applications

    Comparison of behaviour of different engine types; choice of engine parameters for given duty.

    Axial Compressor Design and Performance

    Overall problems of diffusing airflows. The overall compressor characteristic, real and ideal, stall and choke, the surge line, running line, effect of changes in inlet pressure and temperature. Off-Design performance, use of variable IGVs, air bleed, multi-spooling. Choice of annulus geometry, tip speed, etc.

    Axial Turbine Design and Performance

    Overall problems of expanding airflows. The importance of passage shape. Choice of blade profile shape, prescribed velocity distribution. The axial turbine stage, velocity triangles, reaction, stage loading and flow coefficients; Limiting values. Design for maximum power, effect of Mach number, effect of choking and changes of inlet temperature and pressure. Factors affecting efficiency, efficiency correlations. Choice of design point according to application.

    Combustion Systems

    The following topics are treated at an introductory level:
    Burning velocity; effects of pressure, temperature and turbulence. Performance criteria of combustion chambers; combustion efficiency, stability and ignition performance, temperature traverse quality. Fuel injection methods; spray injection, vaporising tubes, airblast atomisers. Gaseous pollutants, mechanism of production of CO, Nox, UHC and aldehydes. Carbon formation and exhaust smoke, use of alternative and residual fuels in gas turbines. Combustor cooling.

    Fuels Technology

    Hydrocarbon fuel molecular structure and behaviour. Conventional petroleum fuel types and preparation. Laboratory test methods and results. Significance of test results in fuel handling and combustion performance. Aviation fuel specifications, and reasons for recent amendments. Current problems: thermal stability, linear temperature, smoke formation, etc. Expected changes in fuel quality. Alternative fuels for use in the short and long term.

    Mechanical Integrity

    Origin of loads on gas-turbine components. Factors and strength criteria for proof, ultimate, creep, fracture and fatigue cases. Integrity of specific components such as discs, blades, shafts, combustion chambers, casings, flanges, etc. Cumulative creep. Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics: effects of cyclic loading. Paris Law, mean stress effects. Types of vibration encountered in the gas turbine. Blade modes of vibration, including centrifugal and thermal effects. Methods of determining natural frequencies. Production of frequency diagram and methods of overcoming vibration problems. Critical speeds of shafts and alleviation by means of squeeze-film damper bearings.

    Design Substantiation and Certification

    Current regulatory requirements [European and USA] for aerospace. Nature and extent of substantiation and validation testing. The role of analysis. Examples of typical design pitfalls.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the module, you will have:

  • The capability to make a reasoned selection of the major performance parameters according to engine application
  • A broad understand the impact on design and performance of the joint constraints of mechanical and thermal issues and the need for adequate off-design performance
  • An overview of the statutory design requirements and the extent of testing and analysis required for aero-engine certification
  • A knowledge of the design issues that can effect airworthiness.

Aviation Safety Management

Module Leader
Aim

    To provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills required to manage operational safety within the aviation industry.

Syllabus
    • The fundamentals of a Safety Management System, and introduction to associated guidance material provided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and other State safety regulatory bodies
    • Safety data, safety information and analyses, including reporting systems, investigation and Flight Data Monitoring (FDM)
    • Hazard identification and risk management, including an introduction to Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)
    • Safety performance and safety health, including guidance on audits and safety promotion
    • Safety organisations, including guidance on effective management of safety teams
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the fundamental concepts behind Safety Management Systems (SMS), as defined by ICAO, UK CAA, CASA and Transport Canada
  • Select and implement techniques for the identification, quantification and management of hazards and risks
  • Critically assess strategies for developing and enhancing safety culture including the role of leadership, structure and reporting systems
  • Identify techniques for measuring safety performance.

Airframe Systems

Module Leader
Aim
    To expand the students’ knowledge of airframe systems, their role, design and integration. In particular, to provide students with an appreciation of the considerations necessary when selecting aircraft power systems and the effect of systems on the aircraft as a whole.
Syllabus
    • Introduction to Airframe Systems
    • Systems Design Philosophy and Safety
    • Aircraft Secondary Power Systems
    • Aircraft Pneumatics Power Systems
    • Aircraft Hydraulics Power Systems
    • Aircraft Electrical Power Systems
    • Aircraft Emergency Systems
    • Flight Control Power Systems
    • Aircraft Environmental Control
    • Aircraft Icing and Ice Protection Systems
    • Aviation Fuels and Aircraft Fuel Systems
    • Engine Off-Take Effects
    • Fuel Penalties of Systems
    • Ageing of Aircraft Systems
    • Advanced and Possible Future Airframe Systems.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

Identify the main airframe systems in civil and military aircraft and explain their purposes and principles of operation
Cite the sources of systems power and their architecture, generation and distribution methods
Discuss the requirements for; identify types of equipment and systems used for; and perform basic analysis of environmental control and oxygen systems in aircraft
Cite the problems resulting from icing on aircraft and systems available to provide protection
Identify the major considerations to be made in the design of aircraft fuel systems and the major components and sub-systems, including aviation fuels
Design the major airframe systems to a conceptual level by producing top level systems schematic diagrams
Appraise the effects of airframe systems power provision on aircraft power plants
Analyse fuel penalties resulting from a given system’s presence on an aircraft by carrying out basic calculations
Recognise the reasons for, and possible types of changes, that may occur in airframe systems in the near future.

Optional 

Mechanical Integrity of Gas Turbines

Module Leader
  • Dr Panagiotis Laskaridis
Aim

    To familiarise students with the common  problems associated with the mechanical design of the gas turbine engine.

Syllabus

    Loads/forces/stresses in gas turbine engines: the origin of loads/forces/stresses in a gas turbine engine such as loads associated with: rotational inertia, flight, precession of shafts, pressure gradient, torsion, seizure, blade release, engine mountings within the airframe and bearings. Discussion of major loadings associated with the rotating components and those within the pressure casing including components subject to heating.

    Failure criteria: monotonic failure criteria: proof, ultimate strength of materials. Theories of failure applied to bi-axial loads. Other failure mechanisms associated with gas turbine engines including creep and fatigue. Fatigue properties including SN and RM diagrams, the effect of stress concentration, mean stress etc. Cumulative fatigue, LCF, the double Goodman diagram technique to calculate the fatigue lives of gas turbine components. The rainflow cycle counting technique. Methods of calculating creep life using the Larson-Miller Time-Temperature parameter. Introduction to fracture mechanics and the Damage Tolerance Philosophy.

    Applications: the design of discs and blades. Illustration of the magnitude of stresses in conventional axial flow blades by means of a simple desk-top method to include the effect of leaning the blade. The stressing of axial flow discs by means of a discretised hand calculation which illustrates the distribution and relative magnitude of the working stresses within a disc. The design of flanges and bolted structures. Criteria for leakage through a flanged joint and failure of the joint from fatigue.

    Blade vibration: resonances. Desk top techniques for calculating the low order natural frequencies of turbomachine blades. Allowances for the effects of blade twist and centrifugal stiffening. Sources of blade excitation including stationary flow disturbance, rotating stall and flutter. Derivation of the Campbell diagram from which troublesome resonances may be identified. Allowances for temperature, pre-twist and centrifugal stiffening. Methods for dealing with resonances.

    Turbomachine rotordynamics: critical speeds and their relevance to gas turbine engines.

    Regulatory requirements: European airworthiness standards related to engine and component integrity. Testing, validation and certification issues. Case studies.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the module, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the design requirements of gas turbine turbomachinery components
  • Perform straightforward calculations involving bi-axial monotonic loads on gas turbine rotating components and to apply appropriate failure criteria
  • Estimate the life of a gas turbine blade or shaft subject to two cyclic amplitudes of fatigue loading
  • Perform hand calculations to estimate the stresses in turbomachine blades and discs
  • Calculate the low order natural frequencies of turbomachine blades and use them in conjunction with Campbell diagrams to suggest solutions to problems with dangerous resonances in the running range of the engine
  • Design a flanged joint making allowances for leakage and fatigue failure
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant regulatory requirements and the means of substantiation for aerospace gas turbine component integrity.

Practical Reliability

Module Leader
  • Dr Simon Place
Aim

    To familiarise students with the reliability analysis of data from tests and service records, and methods of evaluating systems using examples from real life.

Syllabus
    • Outline of the various means of performing the reliability analysis of components and systems.
    • Requirements for safety and reliability analysis as part of regulatory approval process.
    • Analysis of failure data: negative exponential and Weibull probability distributions; data analysis and ranking methods; confidence intervals; normal, log-normal distributions.
    • Systems: conventional representation; series-parallel methods; decomposition techniques; path and cut sets; reliability of maintained systems; failure mode effect and criticality analysis; Fault Tree Analysis; Markov methods.
    • Applications: reliability prediction during project design and development; in-service reliability and service policy development; in-service modification evaluation.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Understand and illustrate the concepts of reliability analysis
  • Distinguish between the different methods for analysing the reliability of components and systems
  • Use the most appropriate analysis technique when presented with failure data based on component and/or system in-service information
  • Outline a quantitative and qualitative analysis of different component and system designs.

Aircraft Accident Investigation and Response

Module Leader
  • Dr Wen-Chin Li
Aim

    The process of accident investigation will be considered as a whole from notification and disaster response through evidence collection and analysis to the preparation of a final report and recommendations for change. Different approaches will be considered including ‘no-blame’, criminal and coronial investigations with particular emphasis on the role that human factors practitioners can play in the investigation and in dealing with the consequences of an accident and its associated recommendations.

Syllabus
    • Accident investigation approaches and response
    • Investigation as it relates to safety management systems
    • Disaster response/emergency planning
    • On site appraisal and preservation of evidence
    • Working with interested parties
    • Operations/systems/engineering investigations
    • Design and crashworthiness
    • Human factors in flight operations
    • Witnesses and interviewing
    • Analytical methods
    • Cross-cultural issues in accident investigation
    • Preparing and managing recommendations
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the accident investigation process as used in a number of industries
  • Identify roles and responsibilities within the accident investigation process
  • Critically assess analysis techniques used in accident investigation
  • List common causal factors and their frequencies
  • Apply human factors knowledge and skills to the investigation of incidents and accidents.

Fundamentals of Aircraft Engine Control

Module Leader
  • Professor Pericles Pilidis
Aim
    This course aims to give an introduction to aircraft engine control issues and systems. On completion of the module, students should be able to understand both the demands of the engine and the design and performance constraints of the control system.
Syllabus

    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, dispatchability 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 affect how it is handled by the fuel system.

    Engine Fuel Handling Systems

    To include 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 rotordynamic pumps, types of positive displacement pumps; mechanical design considerations; calculating pump heat rejection.

    Engine Control Systems

    Reason for an engine control system. Methods for engine controls; Control Laws; Safety Features; System Test; Future Control Systems.

    Hydro-mechanical 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.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Understand the many aspects of the control of aircraft gas turbine engines
  • Have a very good background to the operational problems associated with gas turbines used for propulsion in aircraft
  • Understand the principle problems associated with aircraft fuel systems
  • Undertake a reasonable assessment of the engine control system design needed to minimise likelihood of failure
  • Relate the technology involved to the regulatory framework.

Fundamentals of Aerodynamics

Module Leader
  • Professor Kevin Garry
Aim

    To give a basic knowledge of aerodynamic principles and familiarity with the fundamental characteristics of fluid flow.

Syllabus
    • Fluid properties and basic flow equations
    • Dimensional analysis and aerodynamic force
    • Viscosity, the boundary layer and skin friction
    • Vortex flow and aerofoil circulation
    • Finite low speed wings
    • Aerofoil and wing high lift devices
    • Flying controls
    • Supersonic flow characteristics
    • Supersonic aerofoil sections
    • Finite supersonic wings
    • Transonic flow characteristics
    • Theoretical aerodynamics: the Navier Stokes equations, vector form of Navier Stokes equations
    • Mathematical properties of PDEs
    • Solution methodology for initial boundary value problems
    • Other reduced forms of the Navier Stokes equations
    • Equation of continuity: viscous stresses: shear and normal
    • Navier Stokes equations. The viscous flow energy equation
    • Similarity parameters
    • The 2D boundary layer equations: continuity, x and y momentum and energy
    • Analyse experimental aerodynamic data using XFOIL software
    • Conduct virtual experiment using lab view
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Summarise the principles of incompressible flows including vortices and viscous effects, boundary layers and basic wing and aerofoil section characteristics
  • Describe the implications of compressibility effects; shock waves, supersonic and transonic flow
  • Analyse results from basic low speed and high speed wind tunnel experiments
  • Relate the technology studied to the regulatory requirements for airworthiness.

Manufacturing for Airworthiness

Module Leader
  • Dr Peter Ball
Aim

    The aim is to provide students with a basic understanding of a broad range of issues associated with aircraft manufacture. The module will cover technical and management topics ranging from strategy and factory planning to composite manufacture.

Syllabus
    • Key manufacturing concepts and processes
    • Composite manufacture
    • Manufacturing planning and control issues
    • Lean and cellular manufacturing principles
    • Quality management
    • Manufacturing systems analysis using factory physics
    • Modelling and simulation of manufacturing systems
    • Manufacturing cost engineering
    • Sustainable manufacturing
    • Product introduction and product use/service.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will:

  • Have a critical awareness of manufacturing systems concepts that will enable them to contribute to the cost-effective manufacture of future aircraft
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the interrelationships between different manufacturing disciplines and how these can contribute to meeting the special challenges of aircraft manufacture
  • Be able to apply their acquired knowledge to contribute effectively to Integrated Product Teams representing or taking into account the manufacturing issues related to aerospace product realisation.

Design, Durability and Integrity of Composite Aircraft Structures

Module Leader
  • Professor Philip Irving
Aim

    The module seeks to provide students with knowledge of polymer composite properties and behaviour relevant to their in service performance durability and maintenance in aircraft structures.

Syllabus

    Introduction to Composite Materials

    Comparison of relevant mechanical and service properties to those of metals; manufacturing process and relation of process and constituents to service performance.

    Regulatory Background

    Requirements for fatigue and damage tolerant design in civil and military aircraft as implemented for polymer composite structures. Requirements for rotorcraft and for large fixed wing aircraft.

    Structural Analysis

    Brief summary of methods and techniques for stress analysis and aircraft design using polymer composite materials.

    Fatigue Analysis

    In-plane fatigue and failure processes; stiffness and strength changes under fatigue loading; fatigue notch effects in polymer composite laminates; cycle counting techniques and variable amplitude loading in metallic and polymer composite materials; life assessment and calculation procedures for design against in plane fatigue.

    Delamination Crack Growth and Fracture Mechanics

    Basic theory of linear elastic fracture mechanics; strain energy release rate; applications to delamination crack growth in polymer composite laminates; delamination crack growth testing under static and fatigue loading; Laboratory testing to measure Mode I and Mode II interlaminar fracture toughness (GIC and GIIC); Comparison with stress intensity approaches in metallic materials; Calculation of delamination behaviour of small samples and of aircraft structures. Damage tolerance issues in composites.

    Impact Damage in Polymer Composite Laminates

    Response of polymer composites to out of plane impact loading; Laboratory testing, effects of velocity, mass and impacting body shape on damage produced; damage morphologies, Barely Visible Impact Damage (BVID) concepts; effects of laminate constituents on damage resistance; Effects of in-plane loading on impact damage growth and laminate strength; compression and fatigue after impact; Design against impact damage.

    Service Environment Issues

    Including response to temperature and humidity; lightning strike; bird strike; in-service damage detection in composite structures; Repairs; Operator experience with polymer composite aircraft structures. Structural test requirements to prove airworthiness.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the properties and manufacture techniques of polymer composite materials, and of the basic approaches to design with them
  • Categorise the aircraft service degradation processes of polymer composite laminates involving fatigue, impact loading, temperature and humidity fluctuations
  • Evaluate the effect aircraft service degradation processes have on strength and durability of the composite
  • Undertake simple calculations of damage tolerance based on laboratory test data
  • Formulate structural and coupon sample test requirements to demonstrate the adequacy of the static and fatigue strength and damage tolerance of a composite aircraft structure
  • Critically appraise the design principles and relate them to structural safety considerations in the appropriate regulatory context, for both new designs and in-service aircraft.

Introduction to Avionics

Module Leader
Aim

    To provide a comprehensive overview of avionics systems and infrastructures.

Syllabus
    • Introduction to avionics systems
    • Airborne sensor systems
    • Navigation and communications systems: terrestrial and satellite-based systems, autonomous navigation systems, digital data links
    • Radar: principle of operation, operational modes, radar cross section
    • Displays: head down, head up and helmet mounted displays
    • Avionics systems architectures and integration, databuses
    • Flight management and situational awareness systems, air traffic management
    • Military applications: electronic warfare and countermeasures
    • Product design considerations: design standards, fault tolerance and product life cycle
    • Case study: a complete avionics installation.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of operation, basic functions and properties of avionics systems
  • Identify the design and development strategies of avionics systems
  • Be capable of developing avionics installation requirements in aircraft.

Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance

Module Leader
  • Dr Simon Place
Aim

    The aim is to give students a broad overview of maintenance human error in the aviation industry and to provide an understanding of the nature and consequence of human error in aviation maintenance, and the current strategies and tools being used to combat it.

Syllabus
    • Regulatory framework
    • Legal requirements. EASA/Part 145 Maintenance Human factors
    • Human error investigation in maintenance
    • The use of reporting systems and how these can be implemented: methods used to assess the nature of errors and reasons under-pinning them and currently used tools such as Boeing’s Maintenance Error
    • Decision Aid (MEDA) and the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System for Maintenance Error (HFACS ME)
    • The nature of the maintenance environment
    • An overall appreciation of the general environment in which humans operate when carrying out maintenance
    • Maintenance management
    • Organisation, line and base maintenance, planning, maintenance control, error management systems, shift handover, blame cycle, communication in the workplace, workplace environment, work/job design
    • Designing for human factors
    • What can be done by the designer to reduce and mitigate future human error
    • Design philosophies and human-centred design.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the regulatory background and the environment within which aviation maintenance takes place
  • Explain methods by which maintenance errors can be usefully investigated, and the current tools being used to do so
  • Define the links between aircraft maintenance and safety
  • Differentiate between maintenance error management systems, why they are required and what tools are in current use
  • Analyse ways in which maintenance errors and the effects of those errors can be reduced at the design stage.

Flight Experimental Methods (Airworthiness)

Module Leader
  • Dr Alastair Cooke
Aim

    The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the performance, stability and control characteristics of a conventional aircraft.

Syllabus
    • Air data systems, standard atmosphere and pressure error measurement
    • Cruise performance: specific air range and specific endurance
    • Static equilibrium and trim
    • Longitudinal static stability, trim, pitching moment equation, static margins
    • Manoeuvrability: steady pull-up manoeuvre, pitching moment in manoeuvre, longitudinal manoeuvre stability and manoeuvre margins
    • Lateral-directional trim and static stability.
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the concepts of equilibrium, trim, static, manoeuvre and dynamic stability
  • Evaluate the cruise performance and the aerodynamic and stability characteristics of a conventional aircraft
  • Apply the principles of flight test analysis and assessment
  • Compile and present a technical report in written form
  • Work effectively in a group environment.

Detail Stressing

Module Leader
Aim
    To introduce students to the techniques of detail stressing as practised in the aerospace industry.
Syllabus
    • The structural function of aircraft components. Definition of Limit, Proof and Ultimate loads and Factors for Civil and Military aircraft
    • Basic formulas for stress analysis. Stress strain curves for metallic materials. Material equivalents. Concept of Reserve Factors (RF) and Margins of Safety (MS)
    • Material data. Design guidelines for mechanically fastened joints. Lugs. Strength of bolted/riveted joints. Usage of approved aerospace components
    • Structures under bending and compression. Euler buckling, flange buckling, inter-rivet buckling. Buckling of struts and plates. Shear buckling of webs
    • Generalized stress strain curves
    • Plastic bending and form factors
    • Rivet and bolt group analysis
    • Analysis of thin walled structures
    • Preparation of a detailed Stressing Report and Reserve Factor summary tables for a classroom exercise to be completed during this module.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Apply the principals and techniques in stress analysis and airworthiness requirements to size basic aircraft structural components
  • Evaluate the strength of a component and determine its ability to support an applied load
  • Compare, propose and select metallic materials suitable for use in aircraft structures
  • Acquire transferable skills to allow effective communication with company stress engineers.

Introduction to Aircraft Structural Crashworthiness

Module Leader
Aim
    The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the design of crashworthy aircraft structures and the considerations necessary when designing safe and crashworthy aircraft. The main purpose of crashworthy design is to eliminate injuries and fatalities in mild impacts and minimise them in severe but survivable impacts.
Syllabus
    Overview of Aircraft Crashworthiness
    • Objectives and Approach
    • Regulations
    • Human Tolerance
    Crash Energy Management
    • Structural Collapse
    • Collapse of metallic and composite structural components
    • Component collapse vs. structural collapse
    Introduction to methods for crash analysis
    • Hand calculations
    • Hybrid analysis methods
    • Detailed analysis methods
    Role and capability of testing and simulation in the crashworthiness field
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Outline the main priorities and fundamentals of crashworthiness in aircraft in the context of protection in crash events
  • Define the requirements for structural components used for impact energy absorption and structural collapse in aircraft
  • Describe crashworthiness requirements on major equipment and systems
  • Identify relevant regulations for aircraft crashworthy design
  • Discuss human tolerance in the context of crashworthiness
  • Identify the main experimental and analytical techniques used in design for crashworthiness
  • Apply the systems approach in impact energy management to aircraft design
  • Use simple approximate calculations on the performance of energy absorption components and structures to assess the crashworthiness of an aircraft structure.


Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support.

Please see the UK Government’s Department of Education press release for more information

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

MSc Part-time £17,250 *
PgDip Part-time £13,900 *
PgCert Part-time £6,950 *
  • * Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

MSc Part-time £17,250 *
PgDip Part-time £13,900 *
PgCert Part-time £6,950 *
  • * Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

Funding Opportunities

ISTAT Foundation Scholarships

The ISTAT Foundation is actively engaged in helping young people develop careers in aviation by offering scholarships of up to $US10,000. One student will be nominated for a scholarship each year by Cranfield University.

To help students find and secure appropriate funding, we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. 

Visit the funding finder.

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline. Other relevant qualifications, such as HND and similar, if supported by substantial work experience will be considered.

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

IELTS Academic – 6.5 overall
TOEFL – 92
Pearson PTE Academic – 65
Cambridge English Scale – 180
Cambridge English: Advanced - C
Cambridge English: Proficiency – C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.


Your career

Many of our students are already in employment with aerospace/defence companies and choose to pursue an internationally recognised qualification with Cranfield University to enhance their career. Graduates are able to use this qualification to obtain secure permanent positions abroad.

Destinations of our students vary as many remain with their sponsoring company, often being promoted upon completion of the course. Some companies have used the Airworthiness programme as pre-employment training.

Applying

Online application form. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at this time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.

Apply Now