Aircraft Engineering introductory year, foundation degree FdEng and top-up year BSc(Hons)
Facts about Aircraft Engineering
|Year of entry||2013|
|Qualification||Introductory year, foundation degree FdEng and top-up year BSc(Hons)|
|Application route||1 year full time Introductory year (campus code G for KLM: apply through UCAS (code H415)
2 years full time FdEng June start (campus code G for KLM: apply through UCAS (code H418)
2 years full time FdEng September start (campus code G for Kingston University/KLM split site; C for Newcastle Aviation Academy): apply through UCAS (code H410)
1 year full time BSc(Hons) September start: apply through UCAS (code H416)
Important information for international students
|See the Unistats data for this course|
About this course
Why choose this course?
If you're interested in a career in aircraft maintenance engineering and would rise to the challenge of signing off aircraft as fit to fly, this programme is ideal. Students who complete the course and pass the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) assessment can apply for an EASA aircraft maintenance licence after a further period of work experience.
A scholarship of £4,000 is available for the Aircraft Engineering top-up BSc(Hons) for September 2013 entry. Find out more about the scholarship.
What will you study?
In addition to academic modules, you will take work-based modules that provide you with hands-on experience of aircraft component and equipment replacement, inspection, condition monitoring, and fault diagnosis and rectification. You will also gain an understanding of the work environment and legal requirements relating to the operation of commercial aircraft.
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.
Please note: the modules listed provide a guide only. The subject matter will be similar, but module titles are under review.
Aerodynamics and Electronic Instrument Systems
This module is designed to introduce you to basic aerodynamics and aircraft flight instruments.
The combination seems unusual, but aerodynamics is about controlling the movement of the aircraft through the air, and the instruments discussed in this module show how the aircraft is positioned in the sky, so it works well.
The module starts by introducing the International Standard Atmosphere and basic aerodynamic terms. This is followed by:
- basic theory of flight, stability and lift augmentation;
- cockpit instrument layouts, the instruments in the panels and the information displayed on the instruments; and
- basic computer terminology, the use of computers in aircraft and the handling of static sensitive devices (all associated with the modern electronic display systems being used in aircraft).
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements for EASA Part 66 modules 8 and 5 to Category A level.
This module introduces you to the practical aspects of aircraft maintenance, including:
- safety precautions and the use of basic hand tools and materials;
- the use and interpretation of engineering drawings;
- the practical issues of fitting electrical cables, rivets, pipelines, springs, bearings, transmission and flying control systems;
- the safety precautions associated with ground handling of aircraft;
- the disassembly, assembling and repair of aircraft components;
- the storage and preservation of aircraft in storage;
- maintenance procedures and the associated manuals and documentation.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements for EASA Part 66 module 7 to Category A level.
Aircraft Materials and Hardware
This module introduces the use, properties and treatment of many different materials in aircraft engineering, including:
- corrosion in metals;
- the use of composite materials; and
- defects and repair of aircraft materials are discussed.
The second part of the module is concerned with the hardware used in aircraft, including the properties, characteristics, uses and identification of fasteners, pipes, bearings, transmission systems, flying control transmission systems and aircraft electrical cables and connectors.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements for EASA Part 66 module 6 to Category A level.
This module introduces the fundamentals of engineering mathematics, science and electrical engineering fundamentals needed to complete the course. The engineering mathematics element includes:
- basic arithmetic operations operations and calculations;
- evaluation of basic algebraic expressions; and
- production and use of graphs of mathematical data.
The science section describes basic atomic structure and terms used in statics, kinetics, dynamics and heat theory.
The electrical engineering phase of the module discusses:
- distribution of electrical charges;
- static electricity;
- sources of electricity; and
- terms used in both AC and DC.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements for EASA Part 66 modules 1, 2 and 3 to category A level.
Human Factors and Aviation Legislation
This module introduces both the human factor issues and legal requirements associated with aircraft maintenance of which the engineer needs to be fully aware.
The human factors element explains how social, cultural, physical and psychological factors may affect the performance of an engineer. We discuss case studies concerning aircraft accidents and incidents, and methods of avoiding maintenance related errors.
In the legislation element of the module, we cover:
- the development of both national and international aviation legislation;
- the relationship between EASA-Ops, EASA-145, EASA-Part 66, EASA Part 147 and EASA Maintenance; and
- the applicable national and international legislative requirements.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements for EASA Part 66 modules 9 and 10 Category A level.
Turbine Aeroplanes (double-module)
This module introduces you to aeroplane flying controls, structures and some of the associated aircraft systems.
The first part of the module introduces:
- the operation and effect of aircraft primary and secondary controls at low speed and high speed;
- the basic construction methods used in aircraft and the associated parts; and
- methods used to check the accuracy of construction.
The systems element of the module introduces:
- basic mechanical systems - including flight controls, fuel, hydraulic power, waste and water, pneumatics, air-conditioning and cabin pressurisation, ice and rain protection, and fire and smoke detection, to name but a few; and
- a number of avionic systems - such as electrical power generation and management, instrumentation, auto-flight, communication, navigation and on-board maintenance systems; and
- maintenance procedures and basic fault finding techniques.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements for EASA Part 66 module 11 to Category A level.
Turbine Engines and Propellers
This module introduces you to the fundamentals of gas turbine engines, propellers and their associated systems.
We first introduce you to the basic construction and operation of the various types of turbine engines and their major components, followed by:
- the operation and basic components in the lubrication, fuel, air, starting, ignition, indication and fire protection systems; and
- power-plant installation, engine monitoring and ground operation.
The propeller element introduces basic terms associated with propeller operation and aerodynamics, followed by:
- the basic construction of propellers, propeller control and over-speed mechanisms; an d
- a basic description of propeller maintenance.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements for EASA Part 66 modules 15 and 17 to Category A level.
Workshop and Hangar Practice (work-based module)
This module introduces you to the practical side of engineering and aircraft maintenance. We introduce you to general engineering tools and give you the opportunity to learn and develop the basic hand skills required of maintenance engineers, including:
- how to identify the appropriate tools and equipment needed to complete a task;
- the manuals to use and how to use them; and
- the documentation that needs to be completed whenever maintenance takes place.
We expect you to demonstrate:
- that you are capable of working correctly, effectively and safely with minimal guidance (once shown, and after some practice);
- a high level of maturity, responsibility and integrity whilst completing the module;
- key skills in areas such as self-organisation, communication, interpersonal relationships, team work, and problem solving and planning.
During this module students will keep a record (log book) of all the practical work you complete and get the entries certified by supervisors. You will keep this record, which can be used to record the maintenance experience needed for a licence application.
This module, when completed in conjunction with other practical elements of the course, is designed to satisfy the in-course practical requirements of the EASA Part 66 Category A licence course.
Electrical Engineering A
This module is approximately 66% theory and 33% practical. The theory is delivered in a series of lectures and the practical involves laboratory work designed to demonstrate and reinforce the knowledge gained in the lectures.
The module starts by looking at electrical charge and how electricity is created, before moving on to look at resistors, capacitors and inductors. It covers:
- the construction and identification of each component, alongside their uses, properties and characteristics;
- the operation of the components in simple DC circuits (explained in the lectures and explored in the laboratory);
- the principles of magnetism and induction (to explain how inductors work, and in preparation for the next electrical engineering module where the operation of generators and motors is explored).
This module is designed to partly satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Module 3 to Category B level.
Engineering and Aviation Science
This module is predominantly physics based and is designed to provide the background knowledge you need to understand the operation of aircraft equipment and systems studied later in the course.
It starts with an overview of the SI system of units, the structure of matter and the properties of solids, liquids and gases. You then cover:
- the basic principles of statics, kinetics and dynamics, plus how to perform calculations using appropriate formulae;
- the effects of simple vibration theory;
- basic gyroscopic principles in preparation for later work on aircraft flight instruments;
- basic thermodynamic principles, plus how to perform simple related calculations;
- basic principles of the sound and electromagnetic wave propagation; and
- the propagation of light with a view to its use in fibre optic communications.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Module 2 to Category B level.
Legislation and Safety Management in Aircraft Engineering
The module can be split into two parts: the first covers aviation legislation, the second human factors and safety management systems in aircraft maintenance.
Part one describes the development of aviation maintenance legislation both nationally and internationally. You look at:
- the relationship between the CAA, EASA and other aviation authorities;
- operations, maintenance, training and the engineer's syllabus;
- aircraft certification requirements; and
- national and international requirements associated with maintenance, continuing airworthiness, test flights, ETOPS and all weather operations.
Part two deals with the way human factors affect aircraft maintenance and flight safety. You look at:
- human performance factors, such as vision, hearing, information processing and memory;
- social psychology factors, such as working in teams, motivation and peer pressure.
Other topics include factors that affect one performance; the physical environment in which you are working; the tasks that have to be completed; communication; and human error.
The module concludes with a brief look at safety management, including:
- how to solve maintenance related problems;
- the management of errors in maintenance tasks; and
- how to recognise hazards in the workplace.
Part one of this module (legislation) is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Module 9 to Category B level. Part two is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Pt66 Module 10 to Category B level.
Maintenance Practices A
This module provides you with the knowledge needed to:
- select and use the appropriate tools, materials, drawings and equipment to perform aircraft maintenance tasks; and
- work effectively and safely in an aircraft maintenance environment.
The module starts by looking at the tools and equipment associated with aircraft maintenance; identifying their uses, operation and safe handling. It then looks at:
- drawings, manuals, manual structures and the terminology associated with the profession;
- some of the more general and common aircraft maintenance tasks - such as inspection and tolerance checking; electrical measurements; disassembly and reassembly; aircraft weighing, and weight and balance calculations; aircraft handling (towing chocking, jacking, storage, de-icing etc); corrosion removal, assessment and re-protection; non-destructive testing; and aircraft storage and preservation; and
- maintenance procedures and associated documentation and information on performance of inspection, tests, trouble shooting, assembly, disassembly and repairs.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Module 7 to category B2 level.
Maintenance Practices B
At the end of this module, we expect you to be able to to describe the standard procedures for fastening aircraft structures using bolts and rivets. This will involve selection of the correct sizes, using specified fits and clearances.
The module also covers:
- the methods of fitting pipes and hoses;
- the inspection of springs, bearings and transmissions;
- the principles and inspection of sheet metal work and welded, brazed or bonded joints;
- the processes concerned with inspection, disassembly, assembly, repair, ageing, fatigue and corrosion;
- the procedures to assess, remove corrosion and re-protect aircraft;
- the inspection and testing of aircraft control systems and preparation of aircraft for weighing; and
- the inspections required following aircraft abnormal events.
This module is designed to partly satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Pt 66 Module 7 to category B1 level.
Materials and Hardware
This first part of this module starts by exploring the characteristics, properties, applications and typical heat treatments used in aircraft ferrous and non-ferrous metals. It then moves on to look at:
- the properties and characteristics, and how to repair commonly used aircraft composite and non-metallic materials;
- typical aircraft sealing and bonding agents; and
- the chemical fundamentals of corrosion and current methods of corrosion prevention and removal on aircraft structures.
The second part of the module comprises a detailed look at all of the typical hardware used on and in aircraft. This includes the properties, characteristics, uses and identification of fasteners, pipes, bearings, transmission systems, flying controls, and aircraft electrical cables and connectors.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Module 6 to Category B level.
This module covers the arithmetic, algebra, geometry and higher mathematics needed to successfully complete the foundation degree course.
It starts by looking at basic arithmetic operations involving fractions, decimals, percentages and ratios, before moving on to investigate the use of different number bases. You then look at:
- linear, simultaneous equations and different methods for solving quadratic equations;
- trigonometry, the use of graphs to display data and vector quantities (including the use of Cartesian and polar co-ordinates to add them up); and
- the use of complex numbers and some elementary calculus.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Module 1 to Category B level.
Workshop and Hangar Practice (work-based module)
This module introduces and develops the practical hand skills required by aircraft maintenance engineers. It is not intended to make you an expert, but to provide a thorough introduction and solid grounding for further training, development and more importantly practice.
The basic hand skills associated this module will involve reading engineering drawings, marking out, cutting, filing drilling, thread cutting etc. Initially you will be closely supported and guided, but as the module progresses we expect your dependence on staff to decrease and the tolerances to which you work increase.
The module also shows you how to:
- perform basic aircraft maintenance related tasks;
- identify, locate and follow appropriate procedures;
- use aircraft maintenance manuals and complete maintenance related paperwork; and
- work safely in a maintenance environment.
We will expect you to display maturity, integrity and a responsible attitude to safety and cleanliness whilst working in the workshops.
During the module, you will keep a log book record of the practical work you complete. The log book will provide evidence of the practical training you have completed (part of the evidence required for a licence application).
This module is designed to partly satisfy the in-course practical requirements of an EASA Part 66 Category B approved licence course.
This module will initially establish the need for a standard atmosphere (ISA) and describe the properties of the atmosphere as applicable to aerodynamics. It will then will investigate:
- the airflow around a body and the generation of lift and drag;
- relevant terminology and formulae
- lift augmentation and stability and specifying design features affecting these;
- high speed flight, including design features associated with critical Mach number; and
- the characteristics of aerofoils at all speeds of flight.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Module 8 to Category B level.
Aircraft Propulsion Systems (double module)
This module covers aircraft propulsion systems. It looks at:
- the basic principles of operation, construction and performance of gas turbine engines, and the respective terminology;
- the various component parts (stages) of the engine; and
- the layout and operation of engine systems - fuel, lubrication, air distribution, anti-icing, starting, ignition, power augmentation and fire systems.
The material covered should enable you to inspect the various engine components and systems and make independent decisions regarding serviceability.
You then look at:
- engine monitoring, ground operation and storage of engines;
- the construction and operation of engine measuring and indication systems;
- the aerodynamics principles of propellers and their construction;
- propeller assemblies, including a detailed study of propeller pitch control, over-speed mechanisms and protection devices; and
- the need for synchronising synchrophasing and how this is achieved.
The depth of study is sufficient to enable you to confirm system serviceability and investigate basic faults so that the actions needed to restore the system to a serviceable condition can be taken.
The module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Modules 15 and 17 to Category B level.
Aircraft Electronic Techniques and Digital Systems (double-module)
This double module is a combination of electronics, digital techniques and aircraft digital systems.
The electronics section starts by looking at the building block of semiconductor components - the P-N junction. This is followed by a look at:
- the characteristics, uses, and basic testing of diodes and transistors;
- basic logic gates, and combinational and sequential logic circuits;
- op amps and basic AtoD and DtoA conversion techniques; and
- the transducers and synchronous data transmission systems found on aircraft.
In digital techniques, you study computer terminology and the basic layout and operation of computers before looking at:
- the use of computer technology in aircraft;
- aircraft specific databus systems and displays techniques; and
- digital systems.
The last section involves investigating the layout, operation and built-in-test equipment (BITE) of a selection of electronic and digital aircraft systems, including:
- Electronic Flight Instrument systems (EFIS);
- Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitor system (ECAM);
- Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS);
- Fly-by-Wire (FBW);
- Inertial Reference Systems (IRS); and
- the Flight Management System (FMS).
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements for EASA Part 66 Modules 4 and 5 to Category B1 level.
Aircraft Hangar Training (work-based double module)
This module is designed to be the culmination of the course; it is where you put into practice the knowledge and experience gained from the other modules.
By this point you will have completed the maintenance practices modules and will therefore be well aware of the standard procedures and practices associated with aircraft maintenance; you will also have had the opportunity to gain some experience of the skills required.
We will expect you display maturity, integrity and responsibility during this module, plus demonstrate key skills such as:
- problem solving;
- time management and planning;
- interpersonal communication; and
- the ability to work as an individual or as a member of a team.
By the end of the module, we expect you to be able to demonstrate that you are capable of performing maintenance tasks confidently, correctly and safely with minimal supervision, whilst still appreciating and understanding that you have a lot to learn.
When this module is completed in conjunction with the Workshop and Hangar Practice module and the practical elements of the course modules, it is designed to satisfy the practical requirements of the EASA Part 66 Category B licence course.
Electrical Engineering B
This module builds on the material covered in Electrical Engineering A, and in some ways is more important because it is more closely allied to the aircraft electrical systems that will be studied later in the course. However, you need a good understanding of the fundamentals provided in Electrical Engineering I to understand the material covered in this module.
The module follows directly on from Electrical Engineering A by exploring the theoretical and practical aspects of DC generation. It then completes the DC element of electrical engineering fundamentals by looking at DC motors.
Alternating current (AC) theory starts by investigating how the passive components discussed in Electrical Engineering A behave in AC circuits. You examine in class and tutorial sessions the relationship between:
- resistance, reactance and impedance;
- voltage, current and impedance; and
- reactive, true and apparent power.
In the laboratory you examine simple circuits containing combinations of resistors, capacitors and inductors.
Finally you look at:
- induction for transformers; and
- the theoretical and practical aspect of AC generators and motors.
This module is designed to partly satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Module 3 to Category B level.
Turbine Aeroplane Aerodynamics, Structures and Systems (work-based double module)
This double module first discusses the operation and effect of primary and secondary aircraft controls, wing fences and boundary layer control. This is followed by an in - study of the basic construction of an aircraft and all of its associated parts, including the methods used to check the accuracy of its construction.
The systems element of the module describes:
- the layout and operation of the aircraft mechanical systems - AC generation and control, flight controls, landing gear, fuel, hydraulic power, pneumatics, ice and rain protection, pressurisation and air conditioning, fire and smoke detection, and waste water, to name a few;
- the electrical power and aircraft lighting systems;
- instrument systems - pitot-static for measuring airspeed and altitude, remote and direct reading compasses, and gyroscopic flight instruments; and
- an overview of a number of avionic systems including on-board maintenance systems.
In each case the depth of study will be sufficient to enable you to describe the layout of each system, and explain its operation and interaction with other aircraft systems.
Using this information, and given a period of time to gain experience of the systems in a maintenance environment, you should be able to determine the serviceability of a system, and investigate and identify basic faults in a system.
This module is designed to satisfy the knowledge requirements of EASA Part 66 Module 11 to Category B level.
BSc(Hons) top-up year
This module equips you with the knowledge you need to systematically apply important principles of aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and materials science. It covers:
- compressible flows including the effect of oblique shocks and expansion fans;
- the effect of aircraft aerodynamic and propulsion system characteristics on aircraft performance and stability and control;
- idealisations of typical aircraft structures; and
- the suitability of materials for aircraft applications.
- Air Transport Economics
Aircraft Maintenance and Logistics
This module covers the maintenance requirements, logistics and regulations needed for safe and successful operation of aerospace vehicles. It explores:
- the regulation of airworthiness and licensing of aircraft maintenance engineering personnel;
- the principles of airline economics and maintenance costs;
- the operation of maintenance production and aircraft maintenance schedules;
- the use of computers in aircraft maintenance including onboard maintenance systems and condition monitoring; and
- the capabilities of non-destruction testing and current techniques used.
Business Applications in Engineering
This module develops the management and business competencies that you will need as a professional engineer. It aims to stimulate your interest in the business world and broaden you knowledge of how individual companies and other organisations work. You cover:
- the business environment and the driving forces that affect the growth of businesses;
- how businesses compete successfully, and how success is measured and performance compared;
- profit and loss calculations, cash flows and balance sheets;
- the need for and use of budgets;
- the choices available in the pursuit or growth and success;
- the concept of strategic marketing; and
- how international trade works and the factors to be considered in 'going international'.
Group project (double module)
The group project will originate from a real need - you may collaborate with a company and develop the project through group discussion with the company and an academic supervisor, for example.
The module aims to:
- provide experience of project management and encourage professionalism and leadership in a team activity; and
- develop technical solutions to aircraft maintenance planning, procedural and logistic problems under pressure of time and money restraints.
This project can cover any subject area related to the programme of study. A module project supervisor will provide guidance.
The project will develop your ability to:
- study a topic in depth, reviewing previous work in the same or allied fields;
- apply analytical, experimental and computing skills to the solution of engineering problems;
- collect, interpret and use data;
- communicate clearly and succinctly orally, graphically and in writing; and
- work independently.
Related to this course: