A Part-Time Master's Course Incorporating Aircraft Design, Build and Flight Test 975575

The successful completion of aerospace projects usually involves the bringing together of many different specialist skills. The need for the engineer to become multidisciplined is today's reality, but this is becoming increasingly harder to achieve naturally in the working place. Recent industrial drives towards concurrent engineering have revealed a need for just this type of engineer.
The 3 year part-time MSc course in Aircraft Engineering was designed to address these needs and was launched with the first intakes of delegates in 1995. The course is modular and students are encouraged to “mix” disciplines, combining topics such as avionics and structural analysis. The course has created skilled specialists and engineering leaders for the future, with improved technical ability and career potential, albeit at the cost of hard work!
The course consists of 3 elements, namely:-
  • Lecture courses held in one-week blocks, over the 3 year period.
  • An individual piece of research. This may be theoretical and/or experimental and drawn from a range of topics related to the course.
  • One of the unique elements of this course is that there is an extended group design project in which students and staff perform conceptual, preliminary and detail design of the aircraft. This leads to aircraft prototype modification and flight test, such as that of a two-seat conversion of Cranfield's A1 aerobatic aircraft.
The paper describes the course and discusses the progress made in the past three years.


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