Aerospace Propulsion

Main content


The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a foundation in aerospace propulsion. On completion of this course, the student shall have a good appreciation of why air-breathing engines and chemical rockets have evolved to their current form. Further they shall be more aware of the multitude of opportunities that are available in the aerospace industry, by which they can contribute to the further development of these systems.

Course Description

The working principals of aero-engines and their related background in aerodynamics and thermodynamics are presented. System as well as component engineering aspects of engine aero-thermo-mechanical design is examined. In the last part of the course, a basic introduction to the fundamentals of space propulsion is also presented.


  • To understand the choices and tradeoffs of different types of aero-engines, and the primary parameters on which their performance depends.
  • To understand the aerodynamic and thermodynamic characteristics of major engine components.
  • To appreciate the different possibilities of chemical propulsion for space applications


1) Types of Airbreathing Engines. Aircraft Propulsion Requirements.
2) Ideal & Real Engine Cycle Analysis.
3) Subsonic & Supersonic Inlets.
4) Axial Flow Compressors.
5) Combustors.
6) Axial Flow Turbines.
7) Nozzles.
8) Airbreathing Engine System Considerations.
9) Rocket Propulsion.

Course Notes:

Download during semester.

Related Literature:

Recommended reading literature and Internet links provided in course notes.

Additional Parts:

6 Weekly lecture (2 hrs) and exercise session (1hr).
6 Exercises, 2 hrs each

Page URL:
Sun Jun 25 03:20:20 CEST 2017
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich