EAS 4105: Introduction to Flight Mechanics

 Prof. Pezhman Mardanpour

Jan.2nd, 2016

  • General information

Here is where to find more information:

  • About the mandatory homework format, see section 8.
  • The statement of academic honesty, see section 9.
  • Lectures: Tuesday-Thursday 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., EC1107.
  • Office hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
, or with appointment
  • Office: EC 3464, Phone: 305-348-6103, Email:
  • Teaching Assistant, Mr. Amin Rabiei Baboukani, Email:


  • Topics to be covered in this course

The following topics to be covered in this course:

  • Fundamental of Flights
  • Standard of Atmosphere
  • Basic Aerodynamics
  • How Aircrafts fly
  • Elements of Airplane Performance
  • Principle of Stability and Control
  • Propulsion System and Flight Performance


  • Lectures

The lectures will cover the theoretical foundations of flight mechanics, and the syllabus will be followed as closely as possible. Because of time limitations, some material may be covered quickly; you are expected to ask questions for clarification. If you do not ask questions, I will conclude that you understand the material. There has been a tendency for some seniors, particularly when they are enrolled in the design sequence, to cut 4105 classes. If you can learn the material without coming to class, more power to you. However, I will warn you that most students perceive this as a hard course. Do not expect to get by without a lot of work.



  • Arrive class on time.
  • Tablets and laptops are allowed for taking notes only.
  • No eating
  • No sleeping
  • No excessive talking
  • No texting
  • No reading of newspapers, magazines, or Internet articles
  • No puzzles or games


  • Grading Policy

The overall numerical grade for this course will be computed using the weighting factors shown in Table 1.

10 Homework Assignments %40
4 Quizzes %40
1 Final exam %20

Table 1: Grade weighting factors

  • Homework

Homework will be assigned on a weekly basis. Homework is assigned on Thursday lectures and is due the next Thursday, in class. Homework is a vital part of the learning process, and 40% of your final grade. To make sure no homework is forgotten, an aging factor will be built into the grading as shown in Table 2. Do not forget to use the mandatory homework format, see section 7.

Date homework is turned in Aging factor
On the due date actual grade
Up to the Monday after due date actual grade – 1/10
Up to the Wednesday after due date actual grade – 2/10
Never turned in 0/10

Table 2: Aging factor for homework


  • Quizzes and Final

Four one-hour quizzes will be held at the dates posted on the schedule below. Quizzes are closed book and closed notes, but open minds. Three crib sheets, hand written front and back, are allowed at each quiz.

The comprehensive final exam will be held on week of finals. The format of the final is identical to that of the quizzes, but five crib sheets are allowed.


  • Reference books

The following reference textbook is a good source of information for this class and is on reference in the library.

Introduction to Flight, John D. Anderson, 6th edition, McGraw Hill international edition 6th or 7th.

  • Course Schedule
Week Dates Reading Assignments Homework
1 Jan. 10th – 12th Chapter 1 – 2
2 Jan. 17th – 19th Chapter 2 – 3
3 Jan. 24th – 26th Chapter 3 – 7 Quiz 1
4 Jan. 31st – Feb. 2nd Chapter 7
5 Feb. 7th – 9th Chapter 7 – 4
6 Feb. 14th – 16th Chapter 4 – 5 Quiz 2
7 Feb. 21st – 23rd Chapter 5
8 Feb. 28th – Mar. 2nd Chapter 5 – 6
9 Mar. 7th – 9nd Chapter 6 Quiz 3
10 Mar. 14th – 16th Chapter 6
11 Mar. 21st – 23th Chapter 6 – 9
12 Mar. 28th – 30th Chapter 9 Quiz 4
13 Apr. 4th – 6th Chapter 9 – 10
14 Apr. 11th – 13th Chapter 10
15 Apr. 18th – 19st Chapter 10 – Q&A
  • Mandatory Homework Format

The homework you turn in are a good measure of the quality of your work and the effort you put into a course. Make every effort to present your work in the best possible manner.

  1. Use engineering paper only. PRINT your name clearly on the TOP RIGHT-HAND corner of each and every page. Work only on one side of the sheets. STAPLE all sheets together.
  2. Be careful about neatness and being organized. Please use pencil and clean erasure, ink is not acceptable.
  3. Neatness counts, it is a sound approach to engineering.
  4. Clearly indicate your final results by putting a box around your answers.
  5. Do not forget to keep track of UNITS during your calculations.
    • It is a convenient way to uncover math errors.

    • Please indicate units for your final answers: a final answer without units is 
not an answer.
  6. Describe your solution process first:
    • Provide a sketch of the problem with all relevant information.
    • If applicable, draw a free body diagram.
    • Derive the equations of the problem.
    • Discuss your approach to solving them (analytical, numerical, etc.)
    • Provide expressions for all the results you are plotting.
    • Comment on the physical nature and significance of your answers.
    • Please do not give an answer that makes no sense! It clearly indicates you do not understand the material.


  1. A plot conveys abstract information in a graphical manner. A plot must be drawn with the help of a software package (Matlab, Maple, etc.). Freehand drawing is a sketch, not a plot. Consider the plot shown in Fig. 1.
    • Both x and y axes must be properly labeled; provide UNITS. If it is a non- dimensional quantity you are plotting, say so.
    • If more than one curve appears on the plot, make sure to clearly differentiate them. Use different line styles or symbols.
    • Provide a caption that explains what quantities are plotted along the x and y axes. If more than one curve appears on the plot, provide a legend to explain the meaning of each curve.
  2. If you are using a software package (Matlab, Maple, etc.) as a part of your solution process, include the input/output files to these packages as part of your submission.

Figure 1: Trajectory of the particle: ignoring air friction (solid line); with friction coefficient k = 0.001 kg/m (dashed line); and k = 0.002 kg/m (dashed-dotted line).


  • Statement of Academic Honesty

The honor system is assumed.

  1. You may, and are encouraged to discuss how to work out the problem sets with your classmates. Classmates are an excellent source of information. There is an obvious difference between a constructive discussion about a homework with a friend, and copying your friend’s homework.
  2. Of course, copying is not permitted.
  3. For more information see the FIU Academic Honor Code.