Aeronautical Physics2024-01-31T05:20:54+00:00


College of Aeronautical Science

Australian Defence Forces, and International Airlines do not have a HSC Physics requirement for pilots, however the subject is preferred. The Defence Force recruiting process does put heavy emphasis on courses which are relevant and have been completed in the year prior to application. Remember it’s a competitive process.

The course certificate is recognised by Australian Defence Forces, Qantas, Jetstar, REX and all Domestic Airlines in Australia (see below for International Cadet Programs).

Course material is specifically designed for pilot applicants and airline pilots or cadets. Lecture material includes aeronautical knowledge, which is essential to be successful in the job application process. (Re: technical interview questions for airlines)  Lectures are presented during a 4-week period. The course can be undertaken by correspondence however, it is recommended that students attend at least 2 weeks of the lecture course if possible. If required, extra tuition is available outside of class hours at no extra charge.


Core Topics: Trigonometry, Vectors, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Statics, Dynamics, Work and Energy, Conservation of Energy, Power and Power Generators, Kinetic Theory of Gases, Heat Energy, Projectile Motion, Circular Motion, Moments and Torque, Gravitation and Satellite Motion, Bernoulli’s Equation

Special Topics: Trigonometry, Mathematical Physics, Navigation, The Physics of Flight, Lift Formula, Takeoff and Landing Performance, The Glider, Equilibrium Climb, Accelerated Climb, Aerodynamics, Dynamic Pressure and Wing Loading, The Atmosphere, Effect of Altitude upon Power and Thrust, Mach Number, Bank Angle and Radius of Turn, Stall Speed, Induced and Parasite Drag Equations, Standardised Power Curve©, Comparison of Piston, Turbo-prop and Jet Engine Performance, Bernoulli’s Equation, Critical Mach Number. Note that Aeronautical topics are covered on both a theoretical and practical level. Students will be expected to use the equations as well as understand the fundamental principles from which the equations are derived.

Please contact Dr Steven Holding if you require a more detailed curriculum outline.


Aeronautical Physics

Lecture Format and Course Delivery


To the Student,

                             The material is presented by Dr Steven Holding in lecture format over a 4-week period. Pre-course study is required (approx 3 to 4 weeks).The course may be completed by correspondence, however I recommend that students attend 2 or 3 weeks of the lecture course if possible. Extra tuition is available outside of class hours if required (no charge for this service).

Exam dates can be adjusted to suit student schedules or work commitments. Exams are usually conducted in Brisbane, however If necessary can be scheduled in Sydney or Melbourne.

The Standard Physics curriculum has been adjusted to put emphasis on those topics relevant and of interest to the aviation student. Lecture material includes the special topics of Aerodynamics, Principles of Flight and Aircraft Performance. The student is thus encouraged to learn new principles by applying these to a familiar topic.

Major Airlines and Defence Forces give Technical or Basic Maths questions as part of the Air-Crew selection. Also their “basic” maths or numerical test is not so basic! Course material is designed to assist you in both these areas. The core skills and information obtained here will improve your chance of getting the right result.

International Cadet Programs:

The course certificate is recognised by Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific for cadet entry level as well as for General Entry pilots.

Preparation Study:

Preparation study is recommended for all students. Revision material will be supplied to students, prior to commencing the course work. If students feel that they require extra assistance then the year 10 text book can be purchased. Haese Mathematics, Mathematics for Australia 10. The chapter numbers for study are 1, 2, 4, 5ABC, 6, 7, 8BCD, 11A, 12.


Please let me know well in advance if you require accommodation in Brisbane. Rooms are usually available on, or near University campus. I can email a list of recommended options. Generally accommodation on campus is more expensive (includes all meals).


Course Venue: Brisbane:

Saint Johns College, College Road,  Saint Lucia.

(Green zone parking permits $6 all day)

Course Fees:  Please contact Dr Steven Holding for current course fees.

Course Schedule: Courses are conducted 2 or 3 times per year. Starting dates can be obtained on the college facebook page:

or contact:

Dr. Steven Holding
mobile: 042 303 7474
mobile: +61 42 303 7474