Make Your Career Soar

amraam-120The Basic Missile Aerodynamics (BMA) short course is intended for the aerospace professional seeking expert instruction in the fundamentals of missile aerodynamics as applied to airframe design, analysis and test.

This technical short course provides participants with a focused training experience in the aerodynamics of tactical missiles, ballistic missiles, launch vehicles, sounding rockets and projectiles. They will learn the tenets of basic wing, canard and tail aerodynamic controls, in addition to the rudiments of propulsive thrust vector controls.

sm2As an integral feature of the course, instruction explores the specifics of designing for low drag, high maneuverability and favorable stability and control characteristics. Participants will learn about vehicle 6-DOF aerodynamic force and moment models, airframe component airloads, atmospheric models, and mass property models.  The vital interrelationship among the disciplines of wind tunnel testing, flight simulation and flight testing is clearly explained and stressed.

The course of study includes a consideration of the unique aspects of projectile aerodynamics with particular emphasis on vehicle static, dynamic, and gyroscopic stability.  Aeropropulsive phenomena explained include Jet Interaction (JI) and rocket motor plume effects.  The key topic of Store Carriage and Separation is also addressed from the standpoints of analysis, test and safety certification.


  • Coordinate Systems
  • Wing Control
  • Canard Control
  • Tail Control
  • Thrust Vector Control
  • Component Airloads
  • 6-DOF Aero Models
  • Power-Off Base Drag
  • Power-On Base Drag
  • Plume Effects
  • Wind Tunnel Testing
  • Flight Testing
  • Stability and Control
  • Maneuverability
  • Aerodynamic Drag
  • Aerodynamic Damping
  • Atmospheric Models
  • Jet Interaction Effects
  • Store Separation
  • Dynamic Stability
  • Control Panel Loads
  • Stage Separation
  • Aerodynamic Heating
  • Flight Simulation
  • Historical Flight Programs

amraam-ground2The Basic Missile Aerodynamics (BMA) short course is an intensive 4-day training program that provides a maximum training experience to aerospace professionals with minimum time away from work.

Basic Missile Aerodynamics Module Overview

  1. Missile Coordinate Systems: Body Axis System, Maneuver Axis System, Panel Axis System, steering control schemes, axis transformations.
  2. Missile Flight Controls: Steering policies, aerodynamic controls, control surface types, thrust vector controls, attitude control systems.
  3. Missile Stability and Control: Center-of-mass, center-of-pressure, static margin, static stability, stability and control diagrams, dynamic stability.
  4. Missile Component Airloads: Airframe maneuvers, aerodynamic interference, body alone, combined wing, combined tail, single panel loads.
  5. Zero-Lift Drag Estimation: Pressure drag, shear drag, excrescence drag, nose types, body transition types, fin shape types, body-wing-tail.
  6. Aerodynamic Force and Moment Modeling: Equations of motion, modes of motion, nonlinear aerodynamics, linear aerodynamics, aero derivatives.
  7. Wind Tunnel Testing: Dynamic similarity, wind tunnel types, force and moment testing, models, data acquisition, data corrections.
  8. Aero Force and Moment Extraction From Flight: Equations of motion, trajectory reconstruction, missile instrumentation, meteorological data, uncertainties.
  9. Projectile Aerodynamics: Dynamic stability, epicyclic motion, tricyclic motion, yaw of repose, aerodynamic jump, magnus effects.
  10. Aerodynamic Heating: Conduction, convection, radiation, heat flux rate, total heat load, thermal protection systems, shock interactions.
  11. Store Carry and Separation: Store categories, carriage criteria, separation criteria, analysis methods, ground test methods, aero prediction.
  12. Advanced Topics: Rocket motor plume effects, jet-interaction effects, aerospike aerodynamics, asymmetric vortex shedding.


This course is best suited for individuals with academic or professional experience in aerodynamics and flight mechanics.

General Requirements

  • Algebra
  • 1st Year College Calculus
  • 1st Year College Physics
  • Basic Aerodynamics

Suggested WEA Preparatory Courses

J. Terry White Curriculum Vitae

J. Terry White is the founder, senior advisor and former president of White Eagle Aerospace. His 50 years of professional aerospace experience includes the NASA Space Shuttle Program, NASA X-43A Flight Research Project, and the United States Navy STANDARD Missile Program.  During his far-ranging professional career, Terry has served on the engineering technical staff of Rockwell International, General Dynamics Corporation, Hughes Missile Systems Company, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and Raytheon Missile Systems.  In addition, he has served as an engineering consultant to numerous corporate and private aerospace enterprises.

Terry is a subject matter technical expert in the disciplines of  aerodynamics, 6-DOF aerodynamics models, aerothermodynamics, hypersonics, flight simulation, and flight testing.

Terry previously served as manager of the Aerodynamics Department in the Guidance, Navigation, and Control Center at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. In this capacity, he was responsible for all aerodynamics work performed at the world’s largest tactical missile producer.  He concluded his career with Raytheon in 2010 as a Senior Engineering Fellow in Aerodynamics.

Terry has authored more than 180 technical papers on a wide variety of aero-science and aerospace subjects. His teaching credentials include 15 years as an instructor in the Aerospace Engineering Department of the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 10 years as an instructor in the professional development program at Raytheon and 17 years developing and teaching technical courses at White Eagle Aerospace. Those who have taken Terry’s courses say that he brings an extensive technical knowledge and uncommon instructional skill to the training environment.

Terry is particularly well-known for his inspiring aerospace history presentations, which are intense, technically relevant reviews of significant events in United States aerospace history. He has lectured extensively on aerospace history topics at the USAF Test Pilot School, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, academia and industry.

Terry and his wife Phyllis reside in Oro Valley, Arizona. They are the happy parents of five remarkable children and the grateful grandparents of nine delightful grandchildren.

Schedule an On-Site Course

We provide on-site short courses for businesses and government organizations. Individuals who wish to attend a course should contact us here.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.