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KU Aerospace Short Course Program

Flight Control and Hydraulic Systems

Instructor: Wayne Stout
Printable Course Information (PDF)

Course Schedule

September 18-22, 2017, San Diego, California

Early registration course fee: $2,495 if you register and pay by August 4, 2017

Regular registration course fee: $2,695 if you register and pay after August 4, 2017

San Diego Lodging and Travel Information

You can also bring this course to your workplace. Learn more about our on-site program.


This course covers fundamental design issues, along with analysis and design methodologies for aerospace hydraulic and flight control systems. It includes design requirements, component description and operation, component and system math modeling, component sizing, system layout rationale, system sizing and airframe integration. The course emphasizes the fundamentals and necessary engineering tools (both analytical and otherwise) needed to understand and design aerospace hydraulic and flight control systems. Practical examples and actual systems are presented and discussed throughout the class.

Includes instruction, course materials, refreshments and lunches. The course notes are for participants only and are not for sale.

**U.S. Federal Employee Discount: This course is available to federal employees at a 10% off the registration fee. To receive the federal employee discount, enter the code fgvt116 when registering. Please note that you must validate your eligibility to receive this discount by entering your U.S. government email address ending with .gov or .mil.


  • Hydraulic flow fundamentals
  • Hydraulic components operation and sizing (actuators, valves, regulators, pumps, motors, accumulators, etc.)
  • Servovalve operation and sizing
  • Power Control Units (PCUs) function and operation
  • Hydraulic system design and airframe integration
  • Mechanism fundamentals
  • Flight control system design and airframe integration
  • Flight control system failure modes and design considerations

Who Should Attend?

Designed for system- and component-level engineers and managers—including airframe, vendor, industry and government—and educators involved with aerospace mechanical systems.

Times / CEUs

31.50 classroom hours
3.150 CEUs

Certificate Track

Aircraft Design

Learning Objectives

  • Fundamentals of hydraulic fluid properties and fluid flow
  • Operation and characteristics of hydraulic components and systems
  • Hydraulic system design issues and system design methodology as well as aircraft integration
  • Understand and recognize the fundamental mechanisms used in aircraft flight control
  • Evaluation of aircraft flight control systems and design considerations
  • Understand failure modes in hydraulic and flight control systems and how they are addressed in system design

Course Outline

Day One

  • Introduction and background, system design methodology, hydraulic system overview
  • Hydraulic fundamentals: fluid properties (density, viscosity, bulk modulus), fluid flow (tubes, orifices, servo), spool valves, spool valve control, pressure transients in fluid flow, conservation of mass and momentum, basic hydraulic system modeling equations, computer-aided modeling of hydraulic systems, examples
  • Hydraulic Actuators: operation, fundamental equations, hydraulic natural frequency, sizing, examples

Day Two

  • Hydraulic components: operation, fundamental equations for each component and component sizing
  • Components include check valves, priority valves, flow control valves, pressure regulators, relief valves, shuttle valves, fuses, accumulators, pumps, motors, examples

Day Three

  • Servovalves (flapper, jet pipe and motor controlled)
  • Power Control Units (PCUs)
  • Hydraulic system design: basic system configurations, power generation systems, landing gear control, brake systems, flaps/slats, spoilers, steering, thrust reversers, primary flight control, actuation examples (mechanical and electrical)
  • Hydraulic system design issues, impact of certification regulations, hydraulic system design methodology, failure modes, safety analysis issues and redundancy, integration with mechanical systems

Day Four

  • Mechanism fundamentals: mechanical advantage, gearing ratios, building block mechanisms (linkages, bellcranks, overcenter, dwell or lost motion, addition/amplification, yokes, cables, override and disconnects, etc.), four bar linkages, gearing fundamentals, gearing systems including standard/planetary gear trains, power screws, nonlinearities, stiffness, examples of mechanical systems
  • Flight control system design: flight control configurations (reversible, irreversible, fly-by-wire), mechanization of flap/slats, flight control system design issues, impact of certification regulations, flight control system design methodology and examples

Day Five

  • Flight control system airframe integration, hydraulic system integration, fault detection, fly-by-wire actuation
  • Flight control system failure modes (jams, runaways, slow overs), safety analysis issues and redundancy

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On-site Contact Information

To learn about bringing a course to your workplace, contact Sarah Williams, on-site program manager, for a no-cost, no-obligation proposal.
Email ProfessionalPrograms@ku.edu
Phone 913-897-8782

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