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Two Flight Dynamics courses are given, TMME 50 Flygmekanik for Mechanical Engineering students and TMME 55 Flygmekanik Y for Technical Physics students. While the lecture series are partly adapted to the two different study programmes, at present the examination requirements are identical. Starting autumn 2005, the course for Mechanical Engineering students will be given in english.

Aim of Course

To give the students basic knowledge about how the motion of an aeroplane is modelled and analyzed, in particular with respect to stability.

Outline of Course Contents

Coriolis' equation, the Euler angles, the equations of motion in axes attached to the aeroplane, aerodynamic forces, linearized equations of motion, the concept of dynamic stability, longitudinal modes, lateral modes, handling qualities, automatic control.


Five computer assignments are given:

  • Plane simulation of an aeroplane.
  • Automatic control using a transfer function based on the short-period approximation.
  • Implementation of the regulator developed in the previous assignment in the nonlinear equations of motion.
  • The linearized equations of motion.
  • Three dimensional simulation of an aeroplane.
Each assignment is graded with a maximum of four points, and a minimum of nine points are required to pass the course.


The text for the course is:

  • Nelson, R.C., Flight Stabiliy and Automatic Control, 2ed., McGraw-Hill, New York, 1998.

The first edition from 1989 of this text can also be used, but be aware that early printings of the first edition contains a lot of missprints.

Other books with a similar content and at a similar level include:

  • Etkin, B., and Reid, L.D., Dynamics of Flight: Stability and Control, 3ed., Wiley, New York, 1996. This can be seen as a student version of the classic Dynamics of Atmospheric Flight by Etkin. It puts more emphasis on the aerodynamics than does Nelson.
  • Cook, M.V., Flight Dynamics Principles, 3ed. Butterworth-Heinemann, Amsterdam, 2012. This book gives a somewhat deeper coverage than does the other two. It is slanted towards describing the dynamics in terms of transfer functions.

Additional Information Available for Downloading

  • The detailed course information documents from the last time the courses were given (in Swedish, pdf format) for the Mechanical Engineering and the Technical Physics versions of the course. An English translation of the 2014 Mechanical Engineering version of the document is found here.
  • The first of the computer assignments in the course is found in here or in english translation here (old versions, not to be used for course credit).
  • MIL-F-8785C American quantitative criteria for flying qualities. A bad scan of the complete document is found here. More modern criteria are in MIL-HDBK-1797.
  • Map to find the computer labs.
  • A short MATLAB manual is found at the homepage for the course Multibody Dynamics and Robotics.

Links to External Information

Whom to Contact

Lars Johansson is the lecturer and examiner for the course. Questions can also be answered by Ulf Edlund.

Page responsible: Lars Johansson
Last updated: 2015-01-11