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Implementation of an Inductive Learning and Teaching Framework for an Aircraft Flight Dynamics and Control Class

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Flight and Control Simulators for Virtual Learning

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A. Ram Kim Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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A Ram Kim is an assistant professor at Iowa State Univeristy. She obtained B.S. and Ph. D of Aerospace Engineering in 2013 and 2018 at the University of Kansas. She had worked as a teaching assistant for Flight Dynamics and Control class over 3 years in KU. She has taught Flight Dynamics and Automatic control class at ISU for 2 year in 2019.

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Benjamin Ahn Iowa State University of Science and Technology

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Benjamin Ahn, is a Ph.D student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University.
He received a M.S. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Purdue University and a B.E degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of New South Wales, Australia. His research interests are re-examining the professional engineering practice in U.S. universities and industries and, the role of the Graduate Teaching Assistants in engineering classes.

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Matthew Erik Nelson Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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My background and interests are in RF, embedded systems, and engineering education. I have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a M.S. in Computer Engineering both from Iowa State University. I am now working towards my PhD in Engineering Education in the Human Computer Interaction group at Iowa State University.

I currently hold a faculty position at Iowa State University as an Assitant Teaching Professor. I am the director for the Make to Innovate program at ISU and also serve as the Assistant Director for the Iowa Space Grant Consortium. In addition to my duties at Iowa State University, I also serve as the president of the Stratospheric Ballooning Association. This organization aims to promote, educate, and encourage collaboration for high-altitude balloon projects.

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Aircraft Flight Dynamics and Control (AFDC) consists of mathematically heavy contents given its root in the physics of a moving object. Further, the complexity of the content comes from the movements of airplanes in three-dimensional space and the aerodynamic effects around airplanes. Many aerospace students have challenges in learning AFDC concepts. Typically, they learn materials by picturing the airplane components in their heads. To enhance students’ understanding of AFDC concepts, an inductive learning and teaching framework has been implemented at Iowa State University. This work will show the advantages of (1) learning by hands-on experiences and deliberate questions posed by an instructor, and (2) utilizing existing courses to implement an inductive learning and teaching framework without modifying an entire curriculum. This work is innovative due to the combination of hands-on work; interactive learning through an inductive teaching and learning framework; and enabling students’ ability to prepare for real-world applications. The main technical merits are (1) improving instructional delivery by posing appropriate questions with hands-on-activities to enhance students’ understanding of AFDC concepts, and (2) allowing students to consider their solutions and providing feedback to students to deepen their knowledge. The inductive learning and teaching methods promote connections between physical-hardware systems and the complex mathematical concepts by performing the dynamic modeling activities with fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs). The activities assigned to students in an AFDC class are the dynamic modeling of fixed-wing UASs, where students modify various parts of a given airplane (e.g., increase wingspan, increase the sweep angle, enlarge the control surfaces, and enlarge the horizontal and vertical tails) and examine their impacts on airplane performance. Students of AFDC class will explore different parts of UASs and connect the geometries of platforms to how the aerodynamic forces will be affected and generated by using Advanced Aircraft Analysis (AAA) software. Beyond the assigned activities, students will take three midterm exams and present results from the assigned activities during the final exam. Also, students will submit their final reports, which includes the dynamic model of modification by comparing them to the original platform to show the effect of airplane geometry on the stability and control derivatives. These exams and reports, along with student surveys, will be administered to measure students’ understanding of impacts on dynamic coefficients due to airplane geometry and dynamic modeling procedures over the course of a semester. The expected outcome of this work is the efficiency of the inductive learning and teaching framework by showing the improvement of students’ understanding of complex theoretical concepts to UASs. Additionally, since the activities are team-based activities, the improvement of written and oral communication skills from students is expected.

Kim, A. R., & Ahn, B., & Nelson, M. E. (2020, June), Implementation of an Inductive Learning and Teaching Framework for an Aircraft Flight Dynamics and Control Class Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34772

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