As part of the Aircraft Design course the “Things You Should Know” Wiki project allows the students a chance to address commonly encountered questions, topics, issues or scenarios related to aerospace engineering and research them with enough depth so as to bring forth a good level of understanding. These different pieces of academic material are chosen to be representative of key elements of the knowledge base that a graduate student in fixed wing design must have. In addition, experience using a wiki page provides opportunities to prepare for the future as design processes becomes more interactive, collaborative, online and dynamic.

General Instructions

Each student is assigned a topic. He or she will research the topic and present a summary or description to completely address the topic in a wiki page. Some students in the class will use the ASDL wiki site while others will use an external online wiki site. However, everyone in the course will have a copy of the wiki research pages in a PDF document once the assignment has been completed.

All pages must be completed on the due date for peer revision which will include an evaluation of the page and recommended corrections. A second and final peer evaluation of these pages will then take place. Students will receive a grade depending on the quality of their wiki pages as well as that of their reviews.

Review Process

Each wiki page will be reviewed by two or more students. Once the description or summary wiki pages have been created, there will be a one week period in which each wiki page will be reviewed by two or more students. Each wiki page must receive a grade of 4 (out of 5) or above to be deemed satisfactory. Answers below this review grade must be corrected and improved upon as per the evaluating students’ comments and suggested corrections/additions. The reviews and related comments themselves will also be on the wiki, which will encourage interactions between the author and reviewers.(Note: Since all comments and reviews will be public, students will have opportunities to practice the additional skill of “polite and constructive criticism.”) Students who receive comments but whose wiki pages are of satisfactory quality (above a 4) can opt to improve and update their page within a week. At the end of that week a final peer review will take place.

Timeline and Deliverables

  • The topics will be assigned to the class on Friday September 4.
  • The wiki pages for each topic must be completed by Friday September 25 no later than 3:00 PM EDT.
  • The reviewing process will commence that day and must be complete by Friday October 2.
  • Corrected pages must be completed by Friday October 16 no later than 3:00 PM EDT.
  • The final review (for pages that received a grade below a 4) must be completed within one week, by Friday October 23, at 3:00 PM EDT.

Wiki Page Requirements

  • The wiki page must contain answers to general questions such as: What is it? How is it relevant to, applied in or used in aerospace engineering? Why is it important? What examples are useful to explain it? However, subsection headings of your wiki page should not be these questions!
  • A minimum of three good references to sources which are NOT websites is required.A reputable online or electric journal is considered acceptable. (Also, including other useful websites is encouraged but should only be used to support or provide additional illustrations or examples of the topic.)
  • The wiki page must include at least one image/picture.An “image” of an equation may be acceptable for some topics.
  • A minimum of five (5) internal links, proper use of categories, headings and sub-headings, a link to the user’s profile, and external links are required.
  • No exact length will be specified but sufficient material to cover the given topic satisfactorily will be one of the criteria for reviewers.
  • Spelling, grammar, conciseness and other composition criteria should be appropriate to the format and topic.


This exercise is intended to make students address topics or issues and, through academic research, attain a very deep understanding on those particular topics. Guaranteeing the good quality of these answers ensures the value of the final product which will make part of the Aircraft Design theory library. It is paramount that while creating pages and answering the questions, students focus on the WHY things are they way they are. Special attention should be given to assumptions, supporting theory, and in general implications of any sort.

An example wiki page and tutorials will be provided from which you can use as a guide for your own page. On the ASDL network, the home wiki page is found at http://help/index.php/Fixed_Wing_Design. An identical example and tutorial is found online at for students who do not have access to the ASDL network. Since these pages are only a guide, additional wiki features may be required to fully address your research topic.

William Engler, an ASDL wiki expert, has volunteered to assist students with some wiki related questions. You can visit him in Weber Room 318 or contact him via email address:william.engler@asdl.gatech, but you are encouraged to first exhaust other sources such as online tutorials before contacting him.

A student could certainly “Google” his/her topic and find a seemingly complete answer. Nonetheless students are expected to consult different sources such as general aerospace engineering textbooks, specialized textbooks (e.g. hypersonic aerodynamics), and online sources among others. When using online sources be careful to use only those by reputable authors. (e.g. use the website as opposed to Joe Doe’s official aerodynamics theories fan site).

Some questions may require answers that are built upon significant amount of theory. In these cases students must use their judgment and provide some minimum amount of said theory to correctly put the answer in context, while directing the reader to a source where a complete presentation of this background theory can be found. Do NOT include a superfluous amount of background information. However, an internal link to this information (e.g. to another students wiki page) could be included.

The grade you receive will depend on the quality of your summary or description (as evaluated by your peers and by the class assistants) as well as on the fairness and overall quality of your evaluation and revision of others’ pages.