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Home > Undergraduate Programs > Courses > AME 30332 - Compressible Aerodynamics

AME 30332 - Compressible Aerodynamics

Catalog Data:

An intermediate level course in the dynamics and thermodynamics of compressible flow for both internal and external geometries. Applications of compressible flow principles to propulsive nozzles, air-breathing engine inlets, combustors, flight simulation facilities and supersonic airfoil problems.

Prerequisites: AME 30331


  • Saad, M., Compressible Fluid Flow, Second Edition, Pearson Education POD Aerodynamics: Bases of Aerodynamic Design; 5th edition; Kuethe/Chow

Course Objectives:

This course will provide the student with an introduction to flows in which fluid compressibility is significant and must be taken into account. This requires the coupling of thermodynamics and the basic laws of fluid mechanics. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the physical mechanisms involved in both compressible external and internal flows. Particular emphasis will be placed on providing the student with sufficient physical and mathematical background in order that she/he can solve practical engineering flow problems.

Topics Covered:

  1. Review of basic fluid dynamics principles and thermodynamics
  2. Fundamental aspects of compressible flow
  3. 1-D isentropic flow with area change
  4. Normal shock waves
  5. Oblique shock waves
  6. Prandtl-Meyer expansion waves
  7. Inlets, Nozzles
  8. Supersonic airfoils, wave drag
  9. Adiabatic flow with friction in ducts (Fanno line)
  10. Internal flow eith heat addition and removal (Rayleigh line)
  11. 2-D compressible flow; thin airfoil theory
  12. Compressible boundary layers


This course meets three times a week for 50 minutes each meeting.

Contribution to Professional Component:

The course content is 85% engineering science and 15% design.

Contribution to Program Learning Outcomes and Assessment:

Outcome Criterion


Students' Previous Knowledge

Direct Measure of Outcome


Be able to apply fundamentals of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics to predict the behavior of compressible fluid flow

Introductory thermodynamics and a survey course in incompressible fluid mechanics

Homework assignments, in-class examinations and projects


Be able to design devices in which compressible flow of gas is an integral component

Introductory thermodynamics and a survey course in incompressible fluid mechanics

Homework problems and projects

Prepared by: Flint O. Thomas, May 4, 2006

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