You are here:

Other IBIS builders

Aeronautical pubs




Other projects (non-IBIS)

Suppliers in good old Europe

Various tidbits



IBIS videos


Linking to this site


Last change



Free Aircraft Design Software for Aerodynamics, Stability and Structures

This page shows a collection of free airplane design software to solve computations for Preliminary Aircraft Design, Wing & Aircraft Aerodynamics, Aircraft Stability and Aircraft Structures.
If you know of any free aircraft design software that would fit into any of these categories, please let me know by dropping me an email message.

Aircraft Design Software Description
XFoil XFOIL is an interactive program for the design and analysis of subsonic isolated single-segment airfoils. It was written at MIT by professor Mark Drela.
XFLR5 Airfoil and Wing analysis tool XFLR5 uses XFOIL as its computation kernel and adds a graphical user interface for Windows operating systems. You still need the XFOIL manual to find your way around. XFLR5 also offers a 3D wing design capability, using two different calculation schems. The one similar to MIAReX (described further down below) uses the built in XFOIL kernel to determine local wing section properties. Highly recommended!
TORNADO Vortex Lattice Method A Vortex Lattice Method (VLM) implemented in MATLAB. The code is intended for linear aerodynamic wing design applications, in conceptual aircraft design or in aeronautical education. Among other things it can do such nice things as computing and displaying the Treffz plane velocity vector field. Known Cessna C-172 data was used to validate the code agains other codes such as AVL, VIRGIT and CMARC.
Ducted Fan/Propeller Design Software Another free design application from Professor Mark Drela and his team.
Propeller Design Free and OpenSource propeller design code written in Fortran.
AVL - Athena Vortice Lattice Method Yet another design program by professor Mark Drela and Harald Youngren. AVL is an extended vortice lattice method (VLM) software that supports aircraft configuration development by offering aerodynamic analysis, trim calculation and dynamic stability analysis, among other things.
MIAReX A calculation method for Xfoil and multi-airfoil wings, based on formulae developed by James C. Sivells & Robert H. Neely in NACA TN-1269 (1947). Basically it takes 2D wing section data and integrates the various 2D section properties across the span to arrive at a 'semi-3D' solution.
Elmer Elmer is an open-source computational tool for multi-physics problems (FEA/FEM/CFD). It has been developed in collaboration with Finnish universities, research laboratories and industry. Elmer includes physical models of fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, electromagnetics, heat transfer and acoustics.
Palabox CFD Palabos is an open-source CFD solver based on the Lattice Boltzmann method. The lattice Boltzmann method is a modern approach in Computational Fluid Dynamics. It is often used to solve the incompressible, time-dependent Navier-Stokes equations numerically.
Sailfish CFD Sailfish is a free CFD (computational fluid dynamics) solver based on the Lattice Boltzmann method and optimized for modern multi-core systems, especially GPUs (Graphics Processing Units).
CalculiX A Free Software Three-Dimensional Structural Finite Element Program.
With CalculiX Finite Element Models can be build, calculated and post-processed. The pre- and post-processor is an interactive 3D-tool using the openGL API. The solver is able to do linear and non-linear calculations. Static, dynamic and thermal solutions are available. Both programs can be used independently.
CEASIOM The CEASIOM application is a FREE Conceptual Aircraft design tool. It was developed within the frame of the SimSAC (Simulating Aircraft Stability And Control Characteristics for Use in Conceptual Design) Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP) approved for funding by the European Commission 6th Framework Programme on Research, Technological Development and Demonstration.

2004-2012 IBIS RJ.03 "The French Canard" homebuilt aircraft project
All rights reserved.