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F-22 Into the SunsetThe Fundamentals of Gas Dynamics (FGD) short course is an introductory training experience in compressible flow. Course material provides a solid understanding of elementary compressible flow principles and processes.

This course equips participants with the analytical tools needed to perform basic compressible flow calculations for a wide variety of flow problems. Instruction delves into the meaning and significance of the governing mass, momentum and energy conservation laws which form the theoretical framework of gas dynamics.

Participants will come to understand the manner in which velocity, Mach number, pressure, density, temperature and other key flow parameters vary through shock waves and expansion waves.  They will also gain a basic knowledge concerning the defining features of classic gas dynamic models including calorically-perfect, thermally-perfect and chemically-reacting gases.  Other classic topics include shock polars, pressure-deflection diagrams and conical flow.

Course material also provides an in-depth examination of the theory and application of isentropic flows, flow frictional effects (Fanno Flow) and flows with heat addition (Rayleigh Flow).  Furthermore, participants will acquire the knowledge and analytical skills to solve a myriad of variable-density flow problems including rocket nozzle, blow-down wind tunnel and propulsion system flows.


  • Conservation of Mass
  • Conservation of Momentum
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Calorically-Perfect Gas
  • Thermally-Perfect Gas
  • Isentropic Flow
  • Thermodynamics
  • Normal Shock Relations
  • Hugoniot Equation
  • Oblique Shock Relations
  • Shock Polars
  • Rayleigh Flow
  • Fanno Flow
  • Area-Velocity Relation
  • Pressure-Deflection Diagrams
  • Expansion Waves
  • Prandtl-Meyer Relations
  • Conical Flow
  • Blunt Body Flows
  • Prandtl Singularities
  • High Temperature Effects

34160The Fundamentals of Gas Dynamics (FGD) 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 Gas Dynamics Module Overview

  1. Introduction to Compressible Flow: Continuum concept, Perfect Gas Law, Mach regimes, internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, specific heats.
  2. The Conservation Equations {Integral Form}: Continuity equation, momentum equation, energy equation, control volume, infinitesimal fluid element.
  3. One-Dimensional Flow: Normal shock, steady flow, mass, momentum, energy, speed of sound, Mach number, adiabatic, stagnation.
  4. Normal Shock Waves: Conservation equations, normal shock relations, velocity, pressure, temperature, density, Hugoniot Equation.
  5. One-Dimensional Flow With Heat Addition and Friction: Rayleigh Flow, Fanno Flow, governing equations, property trends, duct flows, thermal choking, frictional choking.
  6. Oblique Shock Waves: Conservation equations, shock polar, pressure-deflection diagram, shock wave intersection, shock wave reflection.
  7. Prandtl-Meyer Expansion: Governing equations, flow expansion, Prandtl-Meyer Function, Shock-Expansion Theory, shock wave drag.
  8. Quasi-One-Dimensional Flow: Duct flows, governing equations, Velocity-Area Relation, Area-Mach Relation, nozzles, diffusers, choked flow.
  9. The Conservation Equations {Differential Form}: Conservation form, Non-Conservation form, Substantial derivative, Entropy Equation, Crocco’s Theorem, Acoustics.
  10. Conical and Blunt Body Flows: Newtonian Theory, Taylor-Maccoll Equation, axisymmetric flow, bow shock shapes, rotationality, NASA SP-3004.
  11. Unsteady Wave Motion: Shock tubes, x-t diagram, Hugoniot Equation, shock wave reflection, characteristics lines, unsteady flow, expansions.
  12. Introduction to Numerical Techniques: Grid discretization, method of characteristics, finite differences, compatibility equations, unit processes.


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

General Requirements

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

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.

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