Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

George Washington University

Aerodynamics with Python

George Washington University via Independent


This is a regular graduate course at The George Washington University department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The course catalog entry reads:


Aero/Hydrodynamics. 3 Credits. Inviscid flows in two and three dimensions and irrotational flow theory; conformal mapping and applications. Helmoltz theorems and vorticity dynamics. Applications such as airfoil theory, finite-wing theory, panel methods, instabilities, free surface flow.


That short description covers much too much content and it really is not possible to have a 3-month course that will do justice to all those topics. In designing this version of the course, we first asked: what should students of classical aerodynamics know well, that they may build on with future study? The answer we propose is: panel method solutions to flow around lifting and non-lifting bodies.


We will build a solid foundation for panel method solutions, starting with be basics of potential flow, and using computations with the Python programming language to explore classical aerodynamics.


This online space supplements the on-campus course with content, discussions and learning pathways. It is an open learning space. Any interested student or self-learner in the world is invited to learn with us and participate in this space. The course was not designed as a MOOC (massive open online course), but rather we decided to simply carry out our learning in the open.

What You'll Learn

  • A foundation in the classical theories of aerodynamics of ideal fluids, as they apply to aerospace engineering design
  • Competency in solution methods and understanding of their approximation power and sources of error




  1. Getting Started
  2. Fundamental concepts
  3. Building blocks of potential flow
  4. Potential vortices and lift
  5. Source-panel method for non-lifting bodies
  6. Vortex-source panel method for lifting bodies

Taught by

Lorena A. Barba


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

Start your review of Aerodynamics with Python

  • Anonymous
    Very thorough course. Yes very very very very very good course. yes very enjoyable course

    I am still enjoying this course as much as I could enjoy it

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.