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Aircraft Systems Engineering

By Prof. Jeffrey Hoffman Prof. Aaron Cohen

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16.885J offers a holistic view of the aircraft as a system, covering: basic systems engineering; cost and weight estimation; basic aircraft performance; safety and reliability; lifecycle topics; aircraft subsystems; risk analysis and management; and system realization. Small student teams retrospectively analyze an existing aircraft covering: key design drivers and decisions; aircraft attributes and subsystems; and operational experience. Oral and written versions of the case study are delivered. For the Fall 2005 term, the class focuses on a systems engineering analysis of the Space Shuttle. It offers study of both design and operations of the shuttle, with frequent lectures by outside experts. Students choose specific shuttle systems for detailed analysis and develop new subsystem designs using state of the art technology.

Customer Reviews

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Absolutely loved watching the original engineers and how they designed our space shuttle! This series is a true gem! I'm downloading again since it's been a year since I enjoyed them the first time. The only thing better than attending MIT is having access to OpenCourseWare!!! Thank you - thank you!!! This keeps me sane!!


Much of the stuff on iTunes U is a real treasure. None more so than this course. If you are a space buff or a geek in general this is a must listen. They are bringing in the people that were directly involved in the development and operation of the shuttle.