Lectures: Two sessions / week, 2 hours / session
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.
Guest lecturers include Aaron Cohen, Dale Myers, John Logsdon, Tom Moser, J. R. Thompson, Bass Redd, Allen Louviere, Henry Pohl, Robert Seamans, Bob Ried, Walter Guy, Robert Sieck, Sheila Widnall, Philip Hattis, Christopher Kraft, Wayne Hale, Anthony Lavoie, Peter Young, and Gordon Fullerton.
Students are expected to attend class and participate in group discussion. They are also directed to form teams to complete a paper of original research, focusing on a specific area of the Space Shuttle to upgrade using today's technology.