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Steven Frank profile image
Steven Frank profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 59 reviews
  • 57 completed
1 year, 10 months ago
No lyrical odes to the wonders of flight open this rigorous introduction to aerodynamics. Instead it’s an abrupt osedive into the character-building equations. And they keep on coming. Which shouldn’t surpri... No lyrical odes to the wonders of flight open this rigorous introduction to aerodynamics. Instead it’s an abrupt osedive into the character-building equations. And they keep on coming. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone, because aerodynamics is mostly fluid mechanics and fluid mechanics is bone-breaking math. The course initially tips its hat to aspects of aircraft performance such as vehicle range and cruise analysis, but most of the time is spent on the more fundamental topics of thermodynamics, flow equations, aerodynamic modeling, shock waves, and boundary layers. The course uses a “flipped classroom” model that dispenses with traditional lectures, instead devoting video instruction time to solving problems. The absence of an organizing lecture sequence may seem dismaying at first, but in fact, the approach works quite well. The written materials are clear and complete, if terse, and the highly mathematical subject matter really takes on life only in the context of problems anyway. For those looking for elaboration, the standard Anderson textbook is a useful reference. Each course module includes a series of embedded problems that sharpen comprehension of the written material (with accompanying explanatory videos after you’ve tried them); “sample problems” that are solved in videos and are less “samples” than a key part of the instruction; and several often-challenging “homework” problems that push your understanding to a higher level, and really function more like quizzes. The dedication of the staff, in particular Prof. Darmofal himself, to this course cannot be overstated, nor can its contribution to students’ success. The material is cumulative, so that if you fall overboard early, you’ll drown in the equations – and the staff’s energetic responses to student queries tossed many of us a needed life preserver. When you’ve finished, and can take a wider look at what you’ve learned, you’ll be amazed at the size of your toolbox – how much you can predict about the aerodynamic performance of a wing based on the slimmest description, the range of conditions you can model, the way once- mysterious fluids concepts have become second-nature. If you’re looking for a thorough introduction to the mechanisms (if not the wonders) of flight, sharpen up your math skills – fluency in vector calculus, differential equations and Fourier operations is a must – and get ready for a rough but rewarding ride.
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10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 10 months ago
Excellent content. However, along with first year physics and mathematics knowledge, one should have proper knowledge of fluid mechanics too. (Had to drop this course earlier due to lack of knowledge of flui... Excellent content. However, along with first year physics and mathematics knowledge, one should have proper knowledge of fluid mechanics too. (Had to drop this course earlier due to lack of knowledge of fluid mechanics, now doing the archived course)
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