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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

AVIA1040 Introduction to Aviation

20 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Dr DW Dixon-Hardy

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is not approved as a discovery module


- On completion of this module, students should have an appreciation of the historical development of aviation and be aware of important aviation milestones;
- An introduction will be given to the various disciplines that make aviation technology unique, including aerodynamics, propulsion, and design;
- The purpose of the course is to introduce the topic of meteorology with an emphasis on what aviation students need to know, up to and beyond that required for the PPL and ATPL.

Learning outcomes
For Introduction to Aviation:
Upon successful completion of this module students should:
- be aware of key timeline events regarding aviation achievements including balloons and fixed wing aircraft;
- have a basic understanding of the principles of flight acting on a fixed wing aircraft including forces;
- understand general aircraft design types including Aircraft stability;
- understand the basic principles of both high bypass gas turbines and turbo prop engines.

For Aviation Meteorology:
Upon successful completion of this module students should:
- have a detailed understanding of the physical principles of meteorology;
- have the ability to make and interpret basic meteorological observations;
- be able to interpret synoptic weather forecasts in the context of aircraft flight and make rational assessments of the effects of weather on aerodynamics and safety;
- be able to assimilate meteorological information in an operating aviation context.

Skills outcomes
For aviation meteorology, the course will be delivered by the use of a computer based teaching (CBT) package on Aviation Meteorology produced by Oxford Aviation Training and the Met Office. This CBT covers meteorology specifically for pilots and includes flight briefing details, an outline of typical Met Office services and tests on each subject and all to APTL standard.

For example, the section on meteorology covers topics such as the atmosphere, pressure, density, pressure systems, altimetry, temperature, humidity, adiabatics & stability etc, while the section on flight briefing covers topics on the METAR and TAF codes and spot wind charts etc.

Each week, in private study time, the student will be expected to review a certain number of aviation meteorology topics. There are no formal lectures during the timetabled sessions. Instead a synopsis of the main points of the various topics are given and students do some small group work on topics such as flight planning, weather forecasting and guest speakers. Guest speakers will include a Virgin Atlantic pilot and a representative of the Met Office.

Students will use the theoretical aerodynamcis and flight performance knowledge and apply this to flying a single engine piston aircraft using the flight simulators. These laboratories will be formative and demonstrate the force couples on single light aircraft using the X-Plane equipment.


For Introduction of Aviation:
- Aviation timeline: the development of aviation technology, early flight, outstanding men and women in aviation;
- Principles of flight and aerodynamics: forces acting on an airplane in flight, airfoil terminology, physical description and explanation of lift, effect of angle of attack and velocity, vortices, ground effect and wake turbulence;
- Drag: drag forces and terminology, parasite, profile, form, skin, aileron, interference, effect of turbulence, supersonic drag;
- Wing Design: coefficients of lift and drag, L/D, aspect ratio, high lift devices, laminar flow;
- Aircraft Stability and Control: static and dynamic stability, importance of C of G, pitching moments, longitudinal, lateral and directional stability;
- Aircraft Propulsion: thrust and power, propellers, turbo-fans, turbo-jets and turbo-props, prop-fans.

For Aviation Meteorology:
- Composition and structure of the atmosphere; formation of cloud and precipitation; thunderstorms; ice accretion on aircraft; visibility;
- Surface observations: pressure, temperature, humidity, wind, cloud, visibility; upper-air observations: observations using remote sensing; collection and charting of observations;
- Synoptic meteorology, collection and charting, air masses, main frontal zones, properties of fronts; frontal depressions; flight through frontal depressions; other depressions - causes of depressions; secondary depressions; orographic depressions; thermal depressions; tropical cyclones; tornadoes; anticyclones;
- Elements of forecasting, route and flight forecasts; local and airport forecasts; international and UK; in-flight information meteorological sources.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Flight Training22.004.00
Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours50.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Review of lecture notes each week
Use of recommended on-line and literature resources to support lecture material
Preparation of group work
Directed reading of recommended texts and on-line resources to support lecture material
Short self-assessed exercises
Revision for written examination

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Regular self-assessed in-class short exercises
Informal feedback on the group assignments and written feedback on individual coursework
Oral feedback on presentations on Aviation Meteorology presentations.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayAviation Meteorology Essay10.00
Oral PresentationAviation Meteorology0.00
Poster PresentationIntroduction to Aviation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/06/2019


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