Source of qualified personnel for the 21st century
The Aviation Department is one of the oldest departments at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Many aviation engineers have graduated from this Department so far; they have found employment in our country and abroad. Graduates from the Aviation Department of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering make successful employees in a large number of aviation firms and companies worldwide. We can say that this is the best acknowledgement of the quality and reputation of the “Belgrade Aviation School”, In addition to the education of domestic students, this Department regularly enrols foreign students. Teaching procedure at the Aviation Department is organized in several groups.
A group for aerodynamics and aerodynamic design tackles the issues of defining and optimization of external aircraft shape. Modern methods used in the teaching procedure are based on the latest knowledge in fluid mechanics and streamline flow past a solid body. In this group, the students are familiarized with basic elements of aerodynamics. As this is the first of several aviation subjects studied at this Department, the students are thoroughly acquainted with the contents of subsonic, transonic (near-sonic) and supersonic aerodynamics; they are taught the basic approaches in the experimental and numerical aerodynamics. Practical part of these activities consists of exercises (audio and laboratory). Under this section, the students are also required to prepare an aerodynamic design of a specific aircraft.
The airframe that should withstand all the anticipated loads is designed by using the theory of elasticity while the problems of interaction between the elastic airframe and the air environment, are solved by applying the theory of aero elasticity. That is why aircraft design is a multidisciplinary matter dealing in engineering design of aircraft structures and in applied technologies, which takes shape in the creation of production, technical and technological documentation. Within this subject, the students are informed in detail of modern design methods of aircraft structures (designing of wings, fuselage, connecting elements, landing gears, engine mount, etc.). Equally, in the course of their studies, the students are taught how to use the algorithm for mass calculation for complex aircraft structures. They also acquire elementary knowledge of how to use CATIA software package in elaborating their design assignments.
Aircraft drive is an important segment of aviation; it is also a multidisciplinary subject dealing in design assignments, integration and testing of aircraft and rocket propulsion. The Jet Propulsion Group also incorporates operation of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which represents one of the best laboratories of this type in this part of Europe.
Aircraft dynamics and its flight and operating characteristics are studied within the field known as flight mechanics. On the other hand, airborne equipment is a multidisciplinary field which studies complex electromechanical systems and aircraft and navigation digital control systems. For an aircraft to be permanently available and reliable, regular maintenance is required. This subject is studied in the field of aircraft maintenance. The Maintenance Group deals in basic knowledge of modern theory and practice of maintenance and overhaul of civilian and military aircraft. One segment of the course of study in this Group is dedicated to maintainability, reliability and combat survivability - system design characteristics defined in the early stage of aircraft design. The purpose of the design assignment prepared by the students during this course is to initiate the students into modern trends of aircraft exploitation maintenance, using the specific examples of companies’ maintenance.
Scientific and R&D work as well as laboratory work for students is organized in several specialized laboratories within the Aviation Department and Aeronautical Institute. These specialized laboratories are classified as follows:
- Laboratory for structural analysis,
- Laboratory for jet propulsion,
- Laboratory for subsonic streamline flow,
- Laboratory for supersonic streamline flow,
- Laboratory for airborne equipment,
- Laboratory for computer simulation, and
- Laboratory for micro propulsion.
The Department has also taken part in the design and construction of a large number of home-built commercial and fighter aircraft (basic trainer aircraft UTVA 75, high performance competition glider VUK-T, trainer-fighter aircraft Galeb G-2 and Super Galeb G-4, fighter aircraft ORAO, etc.). It has also helped to draft and define legal regulations in the field of aviation and to set many standards in this area.
Today, the Aviation Department has successful cooperation with many institutions in the country and abroad; its scientific papers may be found in the referential international publications and it is regularly present at important congresses and professional gatherings in its line of work. For many years, the Department has been a member of numerous international associations and organizations.
Besides providing modern education in the field of aeronautical science, the strategy of further development of the Aviation Department aims at strengthening the bonds with the country’s industrial complex in order to develop human resources to a high standard and create prerequisites for our country’s presence on the most demanding global market.