Make Your Career Soar

apollo 11 moonThe Fundamentals of Earth Reentry (FER) short course is designed for the aerospace professional seeking expert instruction in the basic principles, science and technology of entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.  Course material has direct application to the design, analysis and test of manned ballistic and lifting entry.

This intensive training program provides participants with the essential technical knowledge needed to intelligently address the critical aspects of atmospheric entry from suborbital and orbital flight. Course material provides an in-depth study of the aerophysics of Earth reentry including gas dynamics, aerodynamics, aeroacoustics and aerodynamic heating. Participants will come to understand the key characteristics of ballistic and lifting entry trajectory modes.

apollo 11 splashdownTechnical instruction emphasizes the effects of damping of entry vehicle dynamic motion. Particularly, participants will learn how damping is affected by the structure of the Earth’s atmosphere.  Additional topics include: vehicle thermal protection systems, recovery systems, range safety considerations and flight crew survivability. Technical briefings are provided for a number of significant historical entry vehicles, as well as those currently under development. These case studies provide participants with valuable insights and lessons learned that are directly applicable to job performance.


  • Gas Dynamics
  • Aerodynamics
  • Aerodynamic Heating
  • Earth’s Atmosphere
  • Equations of Motion
  • Entry Trajectories
  • Flight Dynamics
  • Aeroacoustics
  • Entry Vehicles
  • Bioastronautics
  • Range Safety
  • Recovery Systems
  • Free Molecular Regime
  • Chemically-Reacting Flows
  • Heatshield Ablation
  • Flight Simulation
  • Ballistic Entry
  • Lifting Entry
  • Plasma Effects
  • Human Tolerance Limits
  • Pressure Suits
  • Historical Flight Programs

atlas-v-junoThe Fundamentals of Earth Reentry (FER) short course is an intensive 4-day training program that provides a maximum training experience to aerospace professionals with minimum time away from work.

Fundamentals of Earth Reentry Module Overview

  1. Gas Dynamics: Gas models, temperature effects, chemical reactions, continuum flow, free molecule flow.
  2. Aerodynamics: Newtonian theory, pressure methods, skin friction methods, lift and drag, rarefied flows.
  3. Aerodynamic Heating: Stagnation heating, heat transfer modes, body shape effects, thermal protection, plasma.
  4. Aeroacoustic Phenomena: Flowfield effects, body shape effects, sound pressure level, probability density function.
  5. Earth’s Atmosphere: Thermodynamic properties, winds, composition, global circulation, cloud types, turbulence, atmospheric models.
  6. Equations of Motion: Earth-centered reference frames, axis transformations, acceleration transformation equation, flight forces.
  7. Entry Trajectories: Entry modes, ballistic entry, lifting entry, planar flight path model, altitude-velocity maps, aerodynamic heating.
  8. Flight Dynamics: Angle-of-attack oscillations, density damping, vehicle spin effects, epicyclic motion, dynamic stability, roll resonance.
  9. Earth Reentry Vehicles: Vehicle types, suborbital flight, orbital flight, historical systems, current systems, projected systems.
  10. Apollo Entry Guidance: Lift modulation, entry corridor, guidance logic, entry targeting, backup entry control modes, historical results.
  11. Shuttle Entry Guidance: Major guidance modes, Reference Drag Acceleration Profile, ranging logic, entry control law, lateral logic.
  12. Recovery Systems: Parachutes, ballutes, lifting bodies, gliders, parafoils, propulsive systems, rotors, hybrid systems.


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

General Requirements

  • 1st Year College Calculus
  • 1st Year College Physics
  • Basic Aerodynamics
  • Basic Compressible Flow

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.