Flight Mechanics Copyright © A. Filippone (2001). All Rights Reserved.


Figure 1: UMIST rocket launcher (available for inspection)

The aim of this course is to simulate, design, build and test a water rocket, using some constraints on size, materials, fuels, pressures, and payload. Flight testing will be done at the Mutech Grounds under supervision.

Course Unit

  • Teaching Arrangements: 22 hours design office + lectures
  • Credit rating: 10 units

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, the students will:
  • Learn basic rocket performance principles
  • Use computer simulation programs to predict the rocket performance
  • Apply engineering principles to design a rocket with a recovery system
  • Perfom a flight demonstration under supervision
  • Develop team work skills

Course Dates and Deadlines

  • Lecture and Project Assignement: Monday, January 28, 2002, George Begg, C26
  • Flight Testing: March 18, 2002
  • Hand in Report: March 22, 2002


  • Design Report, as specified in the lecture
  • Rocket Flight Performance
  • Post-test report

A prize will be awarded to the Team with the Best Rocket Performance.


  • Rockets must pass a Safety Inspection before allowed to fly.
  • Ownership of computer codes used for simulation must be clearly stated.
  • The students will work in Teams of 3, and will share the tasks.
  • A small amount of money will be available to spend on materials and tools.
  • Laboratory pre-testing is possible on request.

Ethical Standards

Ethical standards are needed to avoid cases of plagiarism and cheating. These include (but are not limited to): attempts to submit project reports without attending lectures and flight testing; submitting the work done by another person; failure to give credit for ideas; photocopying books and publications covered by Copyright. Assisting other persons to cheat is also considered an offense, and may be subject to disciplinary procedures. Acts of plagiarism are reported to the undergraduate office and to the examiners. Please refer to the students handbook for further details.

Rules of Conduct in the Class Room

  • Mobile telephone are to be switched off at all times.
  • Students are expected to be punctual and lectures to start on time.
  • Silence is expected from the students.
  • Disruptive behaviour must be avoided.
  • Horseplay and willful misconduct have no place in the class room.
  • No Eating, No drinking
  • Learn More about Students Chart.

Dr A. Filippone
Dept. Mechanical Engineering
Thermo and Fluids Division
George Begg Building, Office C-38
Manchester M60 1QD
United Kingdom

Phone (+44) 161- 200 3702 (direct)
Fax (+44) 161- 200 3723

Copyright © A. Filippone (2001). All Rights Reserved.