Lecture Slides for

Aircraft Flight Dynamics

Robert F. Stengel

Princeton University
School of Engineering and Applied Science
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Aircraft Flight Dynamics is an undergraduate course that presents theory and methods for describing and predicting the motions of aircraft. The course introduces students to the performance, stability, and control of a wide range of airborne vehicles. Attention is given to mathematical models and techniques for analysis, simulation, and evaluation of flying qualities, with brief discussion of guidance, navigation, and control issues. Topics include equations of motion, configuration aerodynamics, analysis of linear systems, and longitudinal/lateral/directional motions.

The slides used as lecture materials are presented here. While the course focuses on the Science and Mathematics of flight dynamics, historical antecedents are presented as Case Studies in aircraft performance, stability, and control. The science and mathematics component is based on Flight Dynamics (2004, 2022). The case studies were initially motivated by Airplane Stability and Control: A History of the Technologies that Made Aviation Possible (2002), M. J. Abzug and E. E. Larrabee, and they are enhanced by reference to current web-based content. Each lecture is one hour and twenty minutes long.

The portable document files presented here may be downloaded for non-commercial, educational use only, with acknowledgment of the source. Several graphics found on the web are included without attribution. Any graphic material that is deemed to infringe on another's copyright will be promptly removed upon formal notification by the copyright holder.

Lecture Slides (pdf)

For more details, see:

R. F. Stengel, Flight Dynamics, Second Edition, Princeton University Press, 2022.

M. J. Abzug and E. E. Larrabee, Airplane Stability and Control: A History of the Technologies that Made Aviation Possible, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Other Course Slide Sets

Seminar Slides for Optimal Control and Estimation

Lecture Slides for Robotics and Intelligent Systems

Lecture Slides for Space System Design

Seminar Slides for From the Earth to the Moon.

 Aircraft Flight Dynamics

key words: aircraft flight dynamics, flight mechanics, stability and control, flying qualities, handling qualities, configuration aerodynamics, short period, phugoid, Dutch roll, roll, spiral, aeronautical case histories, aircraft performance, longitudinal dynamics, lateral-directional dynamics, coupled motions, inertial coupling, high angle of attack, aeroelasticity, nonlinear equations of motion, flight simulation, flight vehicles, earth's atmosphere.
last updated October 8, 2022, stengel@princeton.edu.
Copyright 2022 by Robert F. Stengel. All rights reserved.