Fundamentals of Theoretical and Experimental Aerodynamics

By Prof. Arnab Roy   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 420
This course is introductory in nature and expected to impart firsthand knowledge of Aerodynamics. It combines fundamentals of theoretical and experimental aspects of Aerodynamics without making it too intense and detailed. After successful completion of this course the student should be well prepared for more advanced courses in the discipline.
With ever increasing use of Aerodynamics in a wide gamut of applications like drones, UAVs, micro air vehicles, automobile aerodynamics, sports aerodynamics, industrial aerodynamics, defence and space, it is essential to understand the basics or quickly refresh the fundamental concepts of Aerodynamics while working on any of the above applications. This course exactly fulfils that need.
I would like to once more emphasize that the primary intention of this course is to create a familiarity about Aerodynamics. It is not intended to prepare someone for research but induce the excitement and enthusiasm to pursue it further.


INTENDED-AUDIENCE: Aerospace Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering 

INDUSTRY-SUPPORT: This course should suit as an introductory Aerodynamics course for new  recruits in organizations like National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL),  Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Aeronautical  Development Agency (ADA), Aeronautical Development Establishment  (ADE), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and private/ multinational  aerospace firms like Boeing, Airbus etc. It should be useful for IAF 
engineers and pilots as well.
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST
Category :
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Course layout

Week 1: Aerodynamics-relevance and applications ,Atmosphere ∙ Flow velocity, pressure, skin friction ,Generation of aerodynamic forces and moments on an aircraft , Aircraft external shape and surfaces
Week 2: Eulerian and Lagrangian perspectives of flow, Fluid Kinematics, Conservation equations of mass, momentum and energy
Week 3: Inviscid and viscous flows- potential flow, boundary layer, Compressible and incompressible flow, Laminar and turbulent flow
Week 4: Airfoil geometry, Pressure distribution at an angle of attack (α), Aerodynamic centre, centre of pressure, Cl- α, Cl-Cd, Cm-α curves, Flow separation and stall, High lift devices, multi element airfoils, Laminar and turbulent flow over airfoil, Trailing edge noise
Week 5:Finite wing geometry, Control surfaces on wing, horizontal and vertical stabilizers, Airfoil and finite wing aerodynamics- a comparison, ∙ Delta wing, high angle of attack aerodynamics, Unsteady effects in airfoils and wings- effect of gust, sudden change in angle of attack, Pitch, heave, flapping, leading edge vortex, dynamic stall
Week 6:Full Potential Equation and its application, Shock and expansion wave theory, Supersonic flow past a flat plate, Flow through a converging diverging nozzle, Transonic and supersonic flow past airfoil, Shock wave boundary layer interaction, Shock tube, Preliminary concepts of hypersonic flow
Week 7: Computing aerodynamic flows- main steps and resources, Panel and Vortex Lattice Method, Euler and Navier Stokes equations-I
Week 8: Euler and Navier Stokes equations-II, What information can be extracted from numerical solutions, Applications of computational aerodynamics- few examples
Week 9: Wind Tunnel: experimental tool in Aerodynamics, Types of wind tunnels, Wind Tunnel design basics, Similarity analysis, Scaling of wind tunnel models, Safety issues in wind tunnel handling
Week 10: Flow visualization techniques, Model design and fabrication, Model positioning system, Measurements involving mechanical sensors, Pressure ports, Pitot static tubes, Mechanical balances
Week 11: Measurements involving electronic transducers, Electronic pressure gages, Strain gage based balances, Data Acquisition System and software, Measurement uncertainty
Week 12: Velocity measurement using Particle Image Velocimetry, How wind tunnel and associated instrumentation are used for performing aerodynamic studies- few examples, ∙ Quick revision of course content & doubts clarification

Books and references

  1. Fundamentals of Aerodynamics: J. D. Anderson,
  2. McGrawHill Introduction to Flight: J. D. Anderson, McGrawHill
  3. Low Speed Wind Tunnel Testing: J. B. Barlow, W. H. Rae, Alan Pope, Wiley-Interscience
  4. A First Course in Aerodynamics: A. Roy, Ventus Publishing, Denmark

Instructor bio

Prof. Arnab Roy

IIT Kharagpur
1. I am currently working as Professor at the Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. The above weblink provides my research details. 2. I have taught various courses covering Aerodynamics, introductory and advanced courses in CFD, Wind Tunnel Design and Testing as well as a few courses in Aerospace Propulsion at IIT Kharagpur to UG/ PG and PhD students.On almost all occasions I have received an overall student feedback rating between 4 and 5 (on a scale of 5). In all, I have about 16 years teaching experience at UG and PG levels combined. 3. My research interests include computational and experimental fluid dynamics. I am also involved in aerospace propulsion research. I have undertaken and executed projects for different organizations like AOARD (Japan), Boeing (USA), AR&DB, DLJ-DRDO, RDSO, ISRO, DST etc 4. I have delivered several CFD related invited lectures at GE Aviation JFWTC, Bangalore (2019); CFD Workshop, BITS Pilani Hyderabad campus (2016); 13th Aeronautical Society of India Annual CFD Symposium at IISc Bangalore (2011),Indo US INDUS-MAV Workshop at Bangalore,organized by NAL and ADE Bangalore (2009) etc.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams:  23 April 2022  Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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