Chair of Aircraft Structures

Project Laboratory
Research Projects

Introduction to Aeronautics


Lectures + Exercises
Subject Designation
I & II
1 + 0


Subject Holder:



Familiarisation with the development of aeronautical structures as well as with the influence of technological achievements on the general progress of aeronautics.



  • Beginning of aeronautics. Ancient mythology about flying. Montgolfier brothers. Otto Lilienthal. Alexander Mozhaisky. Félix du Temple. Wright brothers and technical characteristics of their designs.
  • Beginning of aeronautics in Croatia. Faust Vrancic - Machinae Novae; Homo Volans. Slavoljub Penkala and Dragutin Novak. Edvard Rusjan. David Schwarz. Rudolf Fizir
  • WWI. Appearance of monoplane fighting airplanes. Triplane designs. Fokker’s synchronisation mechanism. Famous pilots of WWI. First bombers. Technical characteristics of the most important airplanes.
  • After WWI. Epilogue. Improvements of basics characteristics (engine power, speed, max. ceiling, range, TOW). First commercial lines. Transatlantic flights. Design of the first modern passenger airplanes. Airplanes vs. ships. Emergence of aircraft carriers. First autogyro. Flights over Poles. Amelia Earhart and her record flights.
  • 1930s. Influence of Schneider Trophy on the rapid development of aeronautical technologies. Transpacific flying boats. Development of all-metal fighters with closed cockpit and retractable undercarriage.
  • Fighters in WW II. Development of technology. Comparison of performance of the most prominent airplanes.
  • Bombers in WW II. Comparison of performance of prominent bombers. Specifics of using bombers in WW II.
  • Advancement of technology in WW II. First jet and rocket engines. Application of swept wing and other aerodynamic concepts. Application of flying wing and aircrafts without horizontal and/or vertical stabilizers. New types of airborne weapons.
  • Fighters after WW II. 1st generation of jet fighters. Sound barrier and horizontal supersonic flight. Fighters of 2nd and 3rd generation. Variable geometry wing. Fighters of 4th and 5th generation. Stealth fighters. STOVL fighters. Latest advancement in fighter aircraft.
  • Bombers after WW II. First jet bombers. Swept wing bombers. V – series bombers. New materials and technologies applied in the bombers of new generation. Nuclear armed bombers. Air to surface weapons. Stealth bombers and latest development.
  • Faster – higher – more powerful. Development of technologies aimed at high speeds and altitudes. Materials. Design methodology. Propulsion. Equipment. Sound barrier. Thermal barrier. Hypersonic flights. Most prominent designs.
  • Civilian aeronautics after WW II. First jet engine powered airliners. Fatigue in aeronautical structures. Improvements in speed, ceiling and payload. First jumbo-jet airliners. Supersonic airliners. The largest non-military airplanes and their technology. The latest generation of airliners, the influence of advanced materials and technologies. Advanced (in progress or cancelled) projects.
  • Helicopters. Historical background and development. Current stage of development.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Historical background and development. Current stage of development.


Teaching material:

As provided to students during lectures – ppt presentation


Additional References:

  • Anderson, J. D .: The Airplane – A History of Its Technology, AIAA, Reston, 2002
  • Group of Authors: The Lore of Flight, Grange Books, 1990

Administrator        LAST CHANGE: 28.03.2017