ENME404-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Aerodynamics and Ground Vehicle Dynamics

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020


Aerofoil theory; Flat plate lift and drag; Aerofoil lift and drag; Predicting aerofoil data with Xfoil; Boundary layer theory; Aircraft performance; Stability and control in flight; Wind tunnel testing; Glider design, build and test; Propeller design; BEMT method; High speed (compressibility) effects; Wheeled ground vehicles: load transfer, tyre design, traction and rolling resistance, aerodynamics, suspension, steering, and potential flow.

This course teaches the fundamental understanding and some of the design skills required for aerodynamic design in the aviation and automotive industries, with relevance also to the wind and hydroelectric power industries. The course strengthens skills required for almost any industrial application with moving fluids.

Theoretical knowledge in the topics above will be taught by lectures and self-paced study with online materials. Practical exercises include modelling aerofoils with Xfoil, measuring aerofoil properties in a wind tunnel, designing and building a hand-launched glider from supplied materials, and modelling wheeled vehicle dynamics in MATLAB.

Aerofoil properties:
• Flat plate lift and drag
• Aerofoil lift, drag and pitching moments
• Pressure and shear stress distributions on aerofoils, and their integration to lift and drag
• Polar data
• Tip vortices and other finite wing effects

Aircraft performance:
• Equations of motion for flight vehicles
• Glide ratio
• Thrust required
• Power required
• Range and endurance
• Takeoff and landing
• High lift devices
• Turning performance

Stability and control of flying vehicles:
• Control surfaces for fixed-wing craft
• Actuators
• Longitudinal stability (trim) treated quantitatively
• Lateral, directional and roll stability treated qualitatively

Potential flow analysis methods:
• Definition of flow potential and streamline functions
• Representing simple 2D inviscid flows with potential and streamline methods
• Representing superpositions of simple 2D inviscid flows

Propeller systems:
• Propeller design considerations
• Blade element momentum theory (BEMT) design method

High speed effects:
• Transonic control
• Supersonic control and drag
• Supersonic propulsion

Compressible flow:
• Speed of sound and Mach number
• Thermo-fluid dynamics of compressible flow
• Adiabatic nozzle flow and applications in flow rate control and propulsion
• Normal shocks

Wheeled ground vehicle dynamics:
• Load transfer in cornering
• Tyre design, traction and rolling resistance
• Ground vehicle aerodynamics
• Suspension types
• Steering geometry

Learning Outcomes

  • Learning Outcomes and National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

    Knowledge outcomes:
  • Solid grasp of the fluid dynamics underlying aerodynamics and methods for computing the pressure distributions and total lift, drag and moments
  • Knowing where to find and how to manipulate empirical data to estimate drag and lift on simple bodies
  • Knowing how to represent simple 2D inviscid flows with simple potential and streamline methods
  • Knowing what determines the performance of systems with compressible flow at Mach numbers greater than 0.3
  • Knowledge of the relationship between flying vehicle configuration, control surface layout and stability

    Fundamental knowledge of the forces governing ground vehicle performance and comfort and their relationship to steering, suspension and tyres.

    Skills outcomes:
  • Ability to choose an appropriate airfoil for a specific application
  • Ability to design a body enclosing a given envelope for low aerodynamic or hydrodynamic drag
  • Ability to estimate thrust, power, range, endurance and speed in flight
  • Ability to design and construct simple lightweight gliders
  • Ability to quickly represent common flow patterns with streamline and potential methods
  • Ability to choose appropriate tyres and tyre pressures for a ground vehicle and calculate power requirements for given speeds.

    Personal attributes developed:
  • Communicating complex concepts to peers
  • Designing and constructing optimal systems with limited resources


ENME304 or

Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 15:00 - 16:00 Ernest Rutherford 140 13 Jul - 23 Aug
7 Sep - 18 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 15:00 - 16:00 Ernest Rutherford 140 13 Jul - 23 Aug
7 Sep - 18 Oct
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 10:00 - 11:00 A4 Lecture Theatre 13 Jul - 23 Aug
7 Sep - 18 Oct
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 3 Aug - 9 Aug
02 Tuesday 09:00 - 10:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 3 Aug - 9 Aug
03 Wednesday 09:00 - 10:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 3 Aug - 9 Aug
04 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 3 Aug - 9 Aug
05 Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 3 Aug - 9 Aug
06 Monday 12:00 - 13:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 3 Aug - 9 Aug
07 Tuesday 09:00 - 10:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 10 Aug - 16 Aug
08 Monday 12:00 - 13:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 10 Aug - 16 Aug
09 Tuesday 10:00 - 11:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 10 Aug - 16 Aug
10 Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 10 Aug - 16 Aug
11 Wednesday 09:00 - 10:00 Mech 120 Wind Tunnel Lab 10 Aug - 16 Aug

Course Coordinator

Mark Jermy


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Aerofoil lab report 10%
Quiz 1 2.5%
Quiz 2 2.5%
Wing planform assignment 10%
Glider design report 10%
Glider performance 5%
MATLAB exercise 5%
Final exam 55%

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity

* Harassment of any sort will not be tolerated.  Each UC student is here to learn and to experience a friendly and supportive community.
* It is every student's right to expect: respect and courtesy from staff and other students, including freedom from harassment of any sort; fair treatment; the ability to speak out about any issues that concern them, without fear of consequences for their safety and well-being.
* Furthermore, each student has the responsibility to: respect the rights and property of others; attend to their own health and safety, and that of others; and behave in a manner towards each other that does not reflect badly on the student body or the University.
* If you, or someone you know, has experienced harassment, please talk to your lecturers, directors of study, or head of department.

Dishonest Practice
* Plagiarism, collusion, copying, and ghost writing are unacceptable and dishonest practices.
* Plagiarism is the presentation of any material (test, data, figures or drawings, on any medium including computer files) from any other source without clear and adequate acknowledgment of the source.
* Collusion is the presentation of work performed in conjunction with another person or persons, but submitted as if it has been completed only by the named author(s).
* Copying is the use of material (in any medium, including computer files) produced by another person(s) with or without their knowledge and approval.
* Ghost writing is the use of another person(s) (with or without payment) to prepare all or part of an item submitted for assessment.

Do not engage in dishonest practices. The Department reserves the right to refer dishonest practices to the University Proctor and where appropriate to not mark the work.
The University regulations on academic integrity and dishonest practice can be found here.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,102.00

International fee $5,500.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Mechanical Engineering.

All ENME404 Occurrences

  • ENME404-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020