To design modern efficient aircraft requires a complex combination of aerodynamic performance, lightweight durable structures and advanced systems engineering. This specialist MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design option explores how different structural and systems elements can be designed and integrated using up-to-date methods and techniques.




Overview

  • Start dateOctober or March
  • DurationFull-time MSc - one year
  • DeliveryTaught modules 10%, Group project 50%, Individual research project 40%
  • QualificationMSc
  • Study typeFull-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

This option is suitable for those students wishing to gain an overview of the whole aircraft design process as well as the design of aircraft structures and systems. 

Why this course?

This Aircraft Design option aims to provide a comprehensive overview of whole aircraft configuration design as well as, structures and systems. A holistic teaching approach is taken to explore how the individual elements of an aircraft can be designed and integrated using up-to-date methods and techniques. You will learn to understand how to select and integrate specific systems such as fuel systems, and their effect on the aircraft as a whole.

We have been at the forefront of postgraduate education in aerospace engineering since 1946. Aerospace Vehicle Design at Cranfield University was one of the original foundation courses of the College of Aeronautics. Graduates of this course are eligible to join the Cranfield College of Aeronautics Alumni Association (CCAAA), an active community which hold a number of networking and social events throughout the year.

Cranfield University is well located for students from all over the world, and offers a range of library and support facilities to support your studies. This enables students from all over the world to complete this qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments.

Informed by Industry

The course has an Industrial Advisory Committee with senior members from major UK aerospace companies, government bodies, and the military services. The committee meets twice a year to review and advise on course content, acquisition skills and other attributes that are desirable for graduates of the course. Panel members include:

• Airbus
• BAE Systems
• BOEING
• Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.
• GKN Aerospace
• Messier-Dowty
• Royal Air Force
• Royal Australian Air Force
• Thales UK

Accreditation

The MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) & Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer.  Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.


Course details

The Aircraft Design option consists of a number of mandatory modules and a minimum of 60 hours of optional modules, which are selected from optional modules. You are also required to complete a group design project and an individual research project.

A unique feature of the course is that we have four external examiners, two from industry who assess the group design project and two from academia who assess the individual research project.

Group project

The extensive group design project is a distinctive and unique feature of this course. This teamwork project takes place over six months and recreates a virtual industrial environment bringing together students with various experience levels and different nationalities into one integrated design team.

Students are given responsibility for the detailed design of a significant part of the aircraft, for example, forward fuselage, fuel system, landing gear, environmental control system, wing. The project will progress from the conceptual phase through to the preliminary and detail design phases. You will be required to run project meetings, produce engineering drawings and detailed analyses of your design. Problem solving and project co-ordination must be undertaken on a team and individual basis. At the end of the project, groups are required to report and present findings to a large panel of senior engineers from industry.

This element of the course is both realistic and engaging, and places the student group in a professional role as aerospace design engineers. Students testify that working as an integrated team on real problems is invaluable and prepares them well for careers in a highly competitive industry.

Watch past presentation videos (YouTube) to give you a taster of our innovative and exciting group projects:


Individual project

The individual research project aims to provide the training necessary for you to apply knowledge from the taught element to research. The project may be theoretical and/or experimental and drawn from a range of topics related to the course and suggested by teaching staff, your employer or focused on your own area of interest. It provides the opportunity for you to deepen your knowledge of an area that is of particular interest, and is often associated with a real-world problem that one of our industry partners is looking to resolve.

Examples in conceptual aircraft design topics:
Aircraft configurations appropriate to hybrid-electric designs
Design and testing of a bird like flapping wing ultra-light aircraft
Design of a human powered helicopter
Conceptual design of a high speed VIP transport helicopter
Conceptual design of a hypersonic space launcher
The conceptual design of a commuter seaplane
An Ultra-light Tilt-Wing-Rotor Aircraft for Short Take-off and Landing Capability
Scale Factor for the Structure Design of a BWB Aircraft
Design of a Human Powered Helicopter (HPH)
Conceptual Design of a two-seat training/touring “Autogyro”

Examples in aircraft structural design and analysis topics:
Investigation in the numerical representation of damage on CFRP stiffened panels and behaviour under combined loading
Delamination growth of carbon fibre composites under fatigue loads
Experimental Testing and Numerical Analysis of Aircraft Bolt Jointed Sandwich Composites
Strength prediction via testing and/or numerical simulation of bolted joints on fibre reinforced laminates
Composite design considerations for trailing arm landing gears
Fatigue behaviour of bolted joints on CFRP laminates following pull through failure
Simulation of thermal residual stresses of CFRP wing
Fatigue of buckled composite stiffened panel
Dynamic Indentation of composite laminates
Numerical modelling of through-thickness reinforced composite laminates
Direct measurement of traction-separation law in fatigue damage of adhesive bonding
Composite joints reinforced by composite fasteners

Example aircraft systems design and analysis topics:
Systems/Structure design modifications to increase manufacture and assembly rates
The development of a hypersonic air-breathing propulsion model and the sizing and integration of a propulsion concept
Environmental control system for aircraft with variable fresh air
The design of a propeller for an electric microlight aircraft
Investigation into the characteristics of a boundary layer ingestion system
Tolerance design for mechanical assemblies in aerospace
Environmental control system cabin air quality
Fuel cell powered landing gear taxi system
The design and integration of a next-generation propulsion concept
An investigation into hypersonic air-breathing propulsion concepts and fuels
The design of a propulsion system for an electric microlight aircraft
Integrated sensors airframe design
Tolerance Design for Mechanical Assemblies in Aerospace
Aircraft wing sub-system design for modular assembly
Design of a scaled test rig for integral wing fuel tank experiments
Simulating fuel gauging performance using pressure sensors
Design of hybrid electric fuel cell propulsion system for a training helicopter
Thermal management of aircraft systems on future more electric aircraft with ultra-high bypass
Future airliner cabin design
Actuation system health monitoring
Re-entry space vehicle – actuation system design and analysis
Reducing wing fuel tank leak test times during assembly
Aircraft level analysis of novel integrated thermal management Systems




Assessment

Taught modules 10%, Group project 50%, Individual research project 40%

Modules

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory modules and (where applicable) some elective modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2018–2019. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2019 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.


Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Aeroelasticity

Module Leader
  • Professor Shijun Guo
Aim

    To introduce the importance of aeroelastic phenomena, basics of aeroelasticity and analysis methods for the design of aircraft structures.

Syllabus
    • Introduction (historical review, aeroelastic phenomena and design requirements);
    • Structural and aerodynamic stiffness;
    • Static aeroelasticity: torsional divergence, control effectiveness and reversal;
    • Structural vibration and modal analysis;
    • Aerodynamic loads on an oscillating lifting surface;
    • Characteristics of flutter and important design parameters;
    • Methods for aeroelastic analysis (divergence and flutter speed prediction);
    • Gust response of rigid and flexible airframes;
    • This module has additional accompanying tutorials and computer workshops as required.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Recognise the importance of aeroelastic phenomena and design requirements;
2. Explain the theory of aeroelasticity including static and dynamic aeroelastic problems;
3. Illustrate the approach for evaluating divergence and flutter speed of aircraft structures;
4. Demonstrate the application of knowledge to the practical design aspects of aerospace structures using available PC based computer programs;
5. Apply their knowledge and skills to estimate the flutter speed of the Group Design Project aircraft.

Aircraft Performance

Module Leader
  • Dr Craig Lawson
Aim

    To facilitate students’ in gaining fundamental knowledge of the theory of conventional fixed wing aircraft performance to a level suitable for an aerospace vehicle designer. In particular, to provide students with the ability to apply aircraft performance theory, practically in the context of aerospace vehicle design.


Syllabus
    • Introduction to Aircraft Performance
    • Aircraft Cruising Performance
    • Aircraft Climb and Descent Performance
    • Aircraft Take-off and Landing Performance
    • Aircraft Manoeuvre Performance
    • Flight Path Performance Estimation
    • Aircraft Performance Measurement

    A classroom exercise will be completed during this module. Solutions will be collected in by the tutor at the end of the module.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Have knowledge of the performance of characteristic of conventional fixed wing aircraft.
2. Understand and be able to apply methods of estimation of flight path performance.
3. Be able to assess and evaluate the performance characteristics of a conventional aircraft.
4. Appreciate the importance of airworthiness requirements in conventional aircraft.

Aircraft Stability and Control

Module Leader
  • Dr Alastair Cooke
Aim

    To provide an introduction to the fundamentals of aircraft stability and control.

Syllabus
    • Stability, control and handling qualities relationships.
    • Aircraft aerodynamic controls.
    • Static equilibrium and trim.
    • Longitudinal static stability, trim, pitching moment equation, static margins.
    • Lateral-directional static stability.
    • Introduction to dynamic stability, first and second order responses.
    • Equations of motion and modal characteristics.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the students will be able to:

  • Describe the concepts of: trim, stability and control.
  • Describe methods of providing static stability for a conventional aircraft.
  • Describe the modes of motion of a conventional aircraft.

Design and Analysis of Composite Structures

Module Leader
  • Professor Shijun Guo
Aim

    To introduce the composite materials, manufacturing techniques and analysis methods for the design of aerospace composite structures.


Syllabus
    • Introduction; Types of composite materials, especially FRP composites;
    • Overview of composites manufacturing techniques;
    • Micromechanics and macro mechanics for stiffness and strength analysis of a FRP ply; Macro mechanics, constitutive equation, stiffness and strength analysis of a FRP laminate; Thermal and moisture residual stresses in a FRP laminate;
    • Stress analysis of an open section FRP composite structure subjected to various loadings;
    • Stress analysis of a closed section FRP composite structure subjected to various loadings;
    • Design guidelines and examples for composite structure design and analysis;
    • Computer programmes for laminate stress, buckling of laminate and stiffened skin and
    • sandwich panels with FRP composite facing skins.

    The classroom assignment on composite manufacturing techniques will take place towards the end of this module. The date and time will be confirmed by the tutor. The assignment is a one hour written paper that will take place in the classroom under exam conditions. This assignment is formally assessed and is worth 25% of the marks available for this module.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key features and particular properties of composite materials, especially fibre reinforced plastics (FRP).
2. Understand modern manufacturing techniques for aerospace composite structures.
3. Apply analytical methods for the evaluation of moisture and thermal effects on a FRP laminate.
4. Demonstrate an ability to predict the buckling behaviour of laminate plates and sandwich panels through the application of analytical techniques and data sheets.
5. Evaluate a FRP laminate based on stiffness and stress analysis failure criteria techniques using PC-Based software.
6. Perform stress analysis of laminated composite structures with open and closed sections subjected to various loadings.
7. Extend their knowledge and skills to the design and analysis of more complex composite structures on the Group Design Project.

Design for Manufacture and Operation

Module Leader
  • Professor Howard Smith
Aim

    To ensure that while the student designs his/her structure he/she is aware of the constraint imposed by manufacturing and operational considerations.

    The influence of designing for maintainability will have a considerable effect on the design of both the structure and aircraft systems and a considerable effect on the life cycle cost of the vehicle. The taught material will have immediate practical application to the Group Design Project.


Syllabus
    • Wing configuration and manufacture. Fuselage layout and manufacture.
    • Flaps and control surfaces: Structural configuration and mechanisms.
    • Assembly and production processes.
    • Maintainability and accessibility.
    • Design for Assembly.
    • Design for Maintainability.

    A classroom exercise will be completed during this module. Solutions will be collected in by the tutor at the end of the module.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Understand the influence of design for manufacture and maintainability on both structure and aircraft systems.
2. Apply their knowledge and skills to the Group Design Project.

Design of Airframe Systems

Module Leader
  • Dr Craig Lawson
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
    • Flight control power systems
    • Aircraft environmental control
    • Aircraft oxygen systems
    • Aircraft icing and ice protection systems
    • Aircraft emergency systems
    • Aviation fuels and aircraft fuel systems
    • Engine off-take effects
    • Fuel penalties of systems
    • Advanced and possible future airframe systems
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Identify the main airframe systems in civil and military aircraft and explain their purposes and principles of operation.
2. Cite the sources of systems power and explain their architecture, generation and distribution methods.
3. Discuss the requirements for; identify types of equipment and systems used for; and perform basic analysis of environmental control and oxygen systems in aircraft.
4. Cite and explain the problems resulting from icing on aircraft and systems available to provide protection.
5. Identify and explain the major considerations to be made in the design of aircraft fuel systems and the major components and sub-systems, including aviation fuels.
6. Appraise the effects of airframe systems power provision on aircraft power plants.
7. Analyse fuel penalties resulting from a given system’s presence on an aircraft by carrying out basic calculations.
8. Recognise and interpret the reasons for, and possible types of changes, that may occur in airframe systems in the near future.

Detail Stressing

Module Leader
  • Dr Ioannis Giannopoulos
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.

Fatigue, Fracture Mechanics and Damage Tolerance

Module Leader
  • Dr Wenli Liu
Aim

    To provide an understanding of the theories of Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics and show how these structural concepts are applied to the design and testing of aircraft structures and Airworthiness Certification.

Syllabus
    • Design awareness: Philosophies of design against fatigue and design for damage tolerance: i.e. safe-life, fail-safe and damage tolerance.
    • Fatigue analysis: Traditional S-N curve approach: calculation of crack initiation life; mean stress effect, notch effect; Miner’s cumulative damage rule for variable amplitude loads.
    • Aircraft fatigue loads: Typical aircraft load spectra for use in the laboratory and computer simulation.
    • Fracture Mechanics: Basic Theory of Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM): Stress Intensity Factor, fracture toughness, strain energy release rate; plane stress and plane strain, crack tip plastic zone; residual strength; prediction of fatigue crack growth.
    • Damage Tolerance: Damage tolerant design methods. Fatigue monitoring in flight/service. Inspection methods. CAA and FAA Regulations and their relationship to Airworthiness Certification Material selection.
    • Classroom exercise will be assigned during this module to further enhance the learning objectives. Completed work will be collected in by the tutors at the end of the module.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Recognise the importance of design against fatigue, especially for aircraft structures.
2. Explain the concept of the damage tolerance design and failsafe design.
3. Command the basic knowledge of Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM).
4. Apply the theory of LEFM to estimate residual strength and crack propagation life of a structure.
5. Solve fatigue analysis problems using both crack initiation and crack propagation approaches.
6. Evaluate and select the most appropriate method; use data sheets for an engineering application.
7. Interpret the regulatory authority requirements for airworthiness and damage tolerance.
8. Extend their knowledge and skills to the calculation of crack propagation rates, structural life and inspection intervals on the Group Design Project.

Flight Experience

Module Leader
  • Dr Alastair Cooke
Aim
    To provide students with flights in the Jetstream Flying Laboratory in support of the lecture course in Aircraft Aerodynamics, Aircraft Performance, and Aircraft Stability and Control. These flights are key for students who are from a non-aeronautical background, and will also serve as a refresher for the remaining students.
Syllabus
    • Measurement of aircraft drag and effect of flap (AD, SD & ASD).
    • Aircraft longitudinal static stability (AD & SD)
    • Avionic demonstration and inertial system accuracy (ASD)
    • Dynamic stability modes (AD, SD & ASD)
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Describe the flight test techniques used to measure simple aerodynamic parameters and assess navigation systems.
  • Describe the dynamic stability modes of a conventional aircraft.

Initial Aircraft Design

Module Leader
  • Professor Howard Smith
Aim
    To introduce students to the process of aircraft conceptual design and support structural layout work, were required, through participation on the Group Design Project.
Syllabus
    • Aircraft project design process
    • Drag and weight prediction:  Drag sources, polar, estimation, weight prediction methods. Layout aspects:  wing; power plant; landing gear; fuselage
    • Simple tail plane and fin layout
    • Overall project synthesis and case study of aircraft
    • Structural requirements, - strength, stiffness and serviceability
    • Analysis of requirements, sources of load and reference datum lines
    • Role of structural members - main plane, stabilisers, auxiliary surfaces, fuselage
    • Analysis and sizing methods - elementary theories
    • Departures from elementary theories - constraint effects, cut outs, buckling.

    This module has additional accompanying tutorials and workshops as required.

    A miniature group PBL conceptual design project will be completed during this module. Solutions will be collected in by the tutor at the end of the module.


Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of aircraft design.
2. Identify the functional role of the structural elements of the entire airframe.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the top level aircraft design to put the detailed design of one aircraft component into context.
4. Perform a simple conceptual design of an aircraft.
5. Apply their knowledge and skills to derive the initial structural layout of the Group Design Project aircraft.

Loading Actions

Module Leader
  • Professor Howard Smith
Aim

    To provide students with knowledge of all the main loading cases including those encountered on the ground, in the air and those induced by the environment. This is the initial module on the MSc course, its contents are fundamental and the taught material will have immediate practical application to the Group Design Project.(GDP).

Syllabus
    • Standard requirements, their application, interpretation and limitations.
    • Flight loading cases: symmetric manoeuvres, pitching acceleration, gust effects, asymmetric manoeuvres, roll and yaw.
    • Balance equations: rigid airframe response, control movements and forces.
    • Ground loading cases: Airload distributions:
    • Structural design data: Inertia relief and effect on shear force, bending moment and torque diagrams.
    • Factors: load factors, their basis and restrictions.

    This module has additional accompanying support sessions to assist application of the material to the GDP.

    A classroom exercise will be completed during this module. Solutions will be collected at the end of the module and archived for future inspection.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Estimate the design loads that act upon a major aircraft structural component using a simplified approach.
2. Extend their knowledge and skills to the derivation of structural loads on the Group Design Project aircraft.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the history and significance of the various airworthiness requirements.

Reliability, Safety Assessment and Certification

Aim
    To provide students with an introduction to the aircraft airworthiness as well as knowledge of reliability assessment methods, safety assessment methods, and certification issues associated with the design of Aircraft Systems (including weapon systems and survivability). To familiarise the students with current air accidents investigation techniques and processes.
Syllabus
    • Airworthiness
    • Reliability
    • Reliability requirements – JAR25-AC.1309
    • Probabilities of failure, MTBF, MTBR, etc.
    • Reliability models – series and parallel systems, common mode failures
    • Safety Assessment Analysis Methods
    • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
    • Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)
    • Reliability predictions
    • Common Cause Analysis (CCA)
    • System Safety Assessment Process
    • Functional Hazard Analysis (FHA)
    • Preliminary System Safety Assessment (PSSA)
    • Air Accidents Investigation

    A classroom exercise will be completed during this module. Solutions will be collected in by the tutor at the end of the module.


Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understand of the aircraft certification process and how aircraft design is driven by airworthiness requirements.
2. Identify system safety requirements
3. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the procedures and steps for system safety assessment
4. Develop system reliability models and perform safety assessment at different levels
5. Simulate and analyse system reliability

Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Aerospace System Development and Life Cycle Model

Module Leader
  • Tim Mackley
Aim

    To introduce the student to system engineering concepts, system lifecycle models and system design processes and methods.


Syllabus
    • Introduction to Systems
    • Life Cycle Models
    • System Requirements
    • Systems Design
    • System Integration, Verification and Validation
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate a understanding of the basic concepts of the main life-cycle models.
2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these models.
3. Define and analyse system requirements and specifications.
4. Determine system development process and define the work to be performed at different development phases.
5. Apply development life-cycle models to the AVD Group project.

Aircraft Aerodynamics

Module Leader
  • Professor Howard Smith
Aim

    The aim of this module is to provide knowledge of the Atmosphere and of the aerodynamic characteristics of a conventional aircraft in the context of its mechanics of flight.

Syllabus
    • Atmosphere Mechanics: structure of the atmosphere, international standard atmosphere model, design atmospheres.
    • Air Data Systems: Pitot-static systems. Altitude, airspeed and Mach number. Air temperature and airflow direction detectors.
    • Basic flight mechanics: forces acting on the aircraft, balance and trim. The forces of lift and drag and their characteristic dependencies.
    • Powerplant thrust characteristics: effects of weight, altitude, temperature and Mach number.
    • Aircraft axis systems.
    • The aerodynamic aspects of the outline design process of a transport aircraft.
    This module has additional accompanying flying laboratory tutorials in the Jetstream Aircraft. See Flight Experimental Methods (FXM).
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics of the international standard atmosphere and design atmospheres.
2. Identify aircraft air data systems and air data measurement.
3. Identify the basic force system of a conventional aircraft.
4. Demonstrate an ability to calculate the principle aerodynamic forces of lift and drag.
5. Perform a simple initial aerodynamic design of an aircraft.
6. Apply their knowledge and skills to the aerodynamic aspects of the Group Design Project aircraft.

Aircraft Power Plant Installation

Aim

    To introduce students to the engine and aircraft-related aspects of the propulsion system, with the primary emphasis being placed on gas turbine engines.

Syllabus
    • Simple gas turbine theory illustrating the effect of gas turbine cycle parameters.
    • Relations between specific fuel consumption, specific range and thermal and overall efficiencies for various engine types including turbo-props.
    • Choice of cycle for various applications.
    • Brief assessment of engine size required and engine / airframe matching including the importance of the airworthiness performance requirements.
    • Impact of engine rating on engine / airframe matching.
    • Impact on engine installation of various systems required by the aircraft.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Understand how a propulsion system is defined.
2. Assess the performance interface between the engine and the airframe.

Computer Aided Design (CAD)

Aim

    The aim of this module is to introduce students to the role of Computer Aided Design technologies in a modern Integrated Product Development process and provide hands-on experience of CAD using the CATIA v5 software.


Syllabus
    • Introduction to Integrated Product Development (IPD) for aircraft design
    • Overview of Computer Aided Design, Manufacture and Engineering tools and their role in IPD
    • Introduction to CAD modelling techniques:
    o Solid Modelling
    o Assembly Modelling
    o Parametric Design
    o Surface Modelling
    o Drafting
    • Hands on CATIA exercises using CATIA v5 including fuselage and wing design exercises
    • Using CATIA for the Group Design Project.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Explain the role of Computer Aided technologies in the aircraft development process.
2. Differentiate between Computer Aided Design, Computer Aided Manufacture and Computer Aided Engineering and understand the information flows between these tools.
3. Select appropriate CAD modelling techniques for a variety of design applications.
4. Use Computer Aided Design software to create simple 3D models using solid, assembly and surface modelling techniques.
5. Apply their knowledge and skills to design aircraft components as part of the Group Design Project.

Crashworthiness

Module Leader
  • Dr Hessam Ghasemnejad
Aim
    To provide students with an understanding of the considerations necessary when designing safe and crashworthy aircraft.
Syllabus
    • Introduction to Crashworthiness.
    • Local collapse of structures: Collapse of thick walled sections: axial, bending and torsion. Collapse of thin walled sections, energy absorption and failure modes.
    • Global collapse of structures: Virtual work approach to calculation, identification of collapse mechanism, geometric and large deformation effects.
    • Crash energy management: Modes of energy absorption, collapse mechanism control, dynamic effects.
    • Crashworthiness design features: Context of structural design in overall crashworthiness, relation to other design aspects. Issues specific to individual applications, including aircraft, cars, trains.
    • Occupant protection: Injury mechanisms, crash dummies and injury criteria.
    • Test and analysis methods: Experimental crash tests, hybrid analysis methods.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Examine relevant crashworthiness regulations.
2. Analyse the key issues of structural crashworthiness.
3. Examine the collapse of thick and thin walled sections.
4. Evaluate the global collapse of structures.
5. Analyse structural collapse using hybrid methods and hand calculations.
6. Critically evaluate the crashworthiness of structures.

Finite Element Analysis

Module Leader
  • Dr Ioannis Giannopoulos
Aim
    The course is aimed at giving potential Finite Element USERS basic understanding of the inner workings of the method.  

    The objective is to introduce users to the terminology, basic numerical and mathematical aspects of the method. This should help students to avoid some of the more common and important user errors, many of which stem from a "black box" approach to this technique. Some basic guidelines are also given on how to approach the modelling of structures using the Finite Element Method. 
Syllabus
    • Background to Finite Element Methods (FEM) and its application
    • Introduction to FE modelling: Idealisation, Discretisation, Meshing and Post Processing
    • Tracking and controlling errors in a finite element analysis. ‘Do’s and don’ts’ of modelling.
    • Illustration of basics of FEM using the Direct Stiffness method to define both terminology and theoretical approach.
    • Problems of large systems of equations for FE, and solution methods.
    • FE method for continua illustrated with membrane and shell elements.
    • Nonlinear analysis in FEM and examples
    • NASTRAN application sessions



Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Understand the underlying principles and key aspects of practical application of FEA to structural problems
  • Understand the main mathematical and numerical aspects of the element formulations for 1D, 2D and 3D elements
  • Build and analyse finite element models based on structural and continuum elements with proper understanding of limitations of the FEM
  • Interpret results of the analyses and assess error levels
  • Critically evaluate the constraints and implications imposed by the finite element method
  • Extend their knowledge and skills to the FE analysis of more complex structures on their thesis work.

Integrated Vehicle Health Management

Aim

    To provide the student with an introduction to the leading IVHM technologies and concepts being implemented in various health monitoring systems, and their application to aircraft design.

    IVHM has become an integral part of Aerospace Vehicle Design. Students will be able to comprehend IVHM techniques and be able to use them in AVD Group Design Project.


Syllabus
    • Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) and different tools available
    • Sensors and Instrumentation for different aircraft sub-systems (aircraft structures, aero-propulsion systems, electric power and power distribution systems, avionics, etc.)
    • Fault detection and isolation techniques
    • Reasoning methods (model-based, case-based, etc.) and their use in aircraft health management
    • Prognosis approaches for aircraft health management
    • Physics of failure approaches
    • IVHM Design for aircraft health management
    • Structural health monitoring
    • Cost benefit analysis of IVHM implementation
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Communicate unambiguously IVHM terminology and apply it correctly, given that the IVHM is a developing field.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the key IVHM Concepts; failure modes, failure effects, failure symptoms, sensors, detection, diagnostics, prognostics, etc.
3. Select appropriate sensors and instrumentation for different sub-systems of the aircraft.
4. Build a diagnostics/prognostics algorithm(s) for different sub-systems of the aircraft.
5. Design IVHM systems for different sub-systems of the aircraft in the Group Design Project.

Landing Gear Design

Aim
    To provide students with a general understanding of the design of landing gear and the associated systems and the associated challenges of integrating them into an airframe. The module also aims to highlight the implications that the design of the landing gear has on the aircraft layout and structure.
Syllabus
    • Landing gear layout (Skids, flying boats, tricycle, bicycle, multi-wheel etc.)
    • Ground flotation (Aircraft Classification Number [ACN] & Pavement Classification Number [PCN])
    • Tyres (Failure modes and causes and wear. Radial vs. Cross-ply)
    • Wheels (Bowl type vs. ‘A’ type)
    • Brakes
    • Struts (Cantilever vs. Trailing arm)
    • Loads (Ground loads and airframe attachment loads)
    • Shock Absorbers (Single acting and double acting. Compression curves)
    • Retraction
    • Ground manoeuvring (Steering)
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Evaluate the various landing gear layout schemes and assess which is best for any particular aircraft layout.
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the procedures and steps for positioning the landing gear on the aircraft (longitudinally and laterally).
  • Critique historic landing gear designs and understand why various design decisions have been made and analyse their impacts on the aircraft.

Structural Dynamics

Module Leader
  • Professor Shijun Guo
Aim

    To provide student with the basic knowledge and understanding of structural vibration modes and dynamic response through theory and experiment, and a good understanding of finite element analysis and application.



Syllabus
    • Introduction to a mechanical system vibration and structural dynamics
    • Free, forced and damped vibration theory and experiment
    • Eigenvalue problem solution methods
    • Direct time integration methods
    • Lumped and consistent mass matrices in finite element modelling
    • Structural dynamic response analysis
    • Application of FEM to aerospace structures
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Theoretical and analysis of simple structures using a first principle approach.
2. Relate how inertial and dynamic terms are included in finite element model.
3. Relate how to calculate and analyse structural modes in frequency domain;
4. Relate how to calculate and analyse dynamic response of simple structures

Structural Stability

Module Leader
  • Dr Wenli Liu
Aim

    Provide a fundamental understanding of the buckling of thin walled structures and the ability to calculate the buckling load of a component.

Syllabus
    • The buckling of thin plates and thin-walled sections using the Rayleigh-Ritz method of analysis. Alternative methods of buckling analysis.
    • Timoshenko's method for columns.
    • Exact solution of differential equations.
    • Approximate solution of differential equations, Finite difference method, Galerkins method, Theoretical post-buckling analysis of plates in compression.
    • The concept of effective width for thin plates.
    • The behaviour of imperfect plates,Torsional-Flexural buckling of thin-walled open section columns.
    • The buckling behaviour and failure of stiffened panels, crippling of thin-walled sections, stiffened shear webs.
    • This module has additional accompanying tutorials and workshops as required, plus a laboratory demonstration of the compressive buckling failure modes of struts and stiffened panels.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the buckling of thin walled structures and structural components.
2. Demonstrate the ability to predict buckling behaviour using hand calculation techniques.
3. Analyse the buckling and post buckling behaviour of simple thin walled stiffened panels.
4. Effectively use data sheets to analyse buckling of real structural components.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2018 to 2019 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (21 April 2017).

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 Full-time £11,250

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A non-refundable deposit is payable on offer acceptances and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee.  Home/EU Students will pay a £500 deposit.  Overseas Students will pay a £1,000 deposit.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • 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.

MSc Full-time £23,000

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A non-refundable deposit is payable on offer acceptances and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee.  Home/EU Students will pay a £500 deposit.  Overseas Students will pay a £1,000 deposit.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • 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.

Funding Opportunities

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.

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.

GREAT Thailand Scholarship
The GREAT Cranfield University Scholarship China is jointly funded by Cranfield University and the British Council. One scholarship of £20,000 for a Thai student is available.

The Cranfield Scholarship
We have a limited number of scholarships available for candidates from around the world. Scholarships are awarded to applicants who show both aptitude and ability for the subject they are applying. Find out more about the Cranfield Scholarship

Masters Loan from Student Finance England

A Masters Loan is now available for UK and EU applicants to help you pay for your Master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK

Santander Scholarship

The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £4,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. The scholarship is open to female students from the UK.

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries

Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Future Finance Student Loans

Cranfield University has partnered with Future Finance as an alternative source of funding for our students with loans of up to £40,000 available.

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at Cranfield university. The scholarship includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)

The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based Masters courses.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers Postgraduate Masters Scholarship

IMechE is offering a number of postgraduate research Scholarships worth up to £6,500 to graduates with a 2:1 honours IMechE accredited BEng(Hons) degree to allow them to undertake an IMechE accredited Masters degree.

IGEM Postgraduate Masters Scholarship
The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) is offering postgraduate Masters Scholarships worth £6,500 to those studying an Engineering Council accredited degree.

Royal Aeronautical Society
The Royal Aeronautical Society offer Centennial Scholarships for those studying an accredited course.

Lendwise Postgraduate Student Loan
The Lendwise Postgraduate Student Loan provides tuition fee and maintenance loans of between £5,000 and £100,000 for eligible applicants studying at Cranfield University.

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in an engineering discipline. There is a limited opportunity for candidates with other qualifications to enter the course via a one-year Pre-Master's preparatory course, which provides the necessary level of knowledge of engineering principles applicable to aerospace design.

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

This MSc is valued and respected by employers worldwide. The applied nature of this course ensures that our graduates are ready to be of immediate use to their future employer and has provided sufficient breadth of understanding of multi-discipline design to position them for accelerated career progression.

Graduates from this option have gone on to pursue engineering careers in disciplines such as structural design, stress analysis or systems design.

Many of our graduates occupy very senior positions in their organisations, making valuable contributions to the international aerospace industry. Typical student destinations include BAE Systems, Airbus, Dassault and Rolls-Royce.

How to apply

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.