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Free Aircraft Design Software for Aerodynamics, Stability and Structural Design

This page shows a small collection of free airplane design software to solve computations for Preliminary Aircraft Design, Wing & Aircraft Aerodynamics, Aircraft Stability and Aircraft Structures. I keep a much more extensive list on my Free Aircraft Design Software site.

Airfoil Design

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.
JavaFoil Martin Hepperle's JavaFoil is a program that uses inviscid potential flow analysis as well as an Eppler-like boundary layer analysis to design and analyse airfoils. Designing multi-element wing sections is possible as well, but some restrictions apply, see the manual for that.

Conceptual Aircraft Design

XFLR5 Airfoil and Wing analysis tool XFLR5 uses XFOIL as its computation kernel and adds a graphical user interface for Windows operating systems. XFLR5 also offers a 3D wing design capability, using two different calculation schemes. Similar to MIAReX (described further down below) in this respect, it 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.

FEA - Finite Element Analysis (Structural Design)

CalculiX A Free Three-Dimensional Structural Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software.
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. This tools seems to be developed with Linux in mind...
Z88 Aurora Z88 Aurora is a free finite element software package for static calculation in mechanical engineering. Beside linear static analysis you can use it for large displacement analysis, steady state thermal analysis and natural frequency analysis. Z99 supports Unix & Linux, Windows and Mac OSX. It also features a mesh generator, DXF conversions and a native plotting program.

CFD - Computational Flow Dynamics

Elmer CFD 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.
OpenFlower CFD OpenFlower is an open source CFD software (FLOW solvER, literally) written in C++. It is mainly devoted to the resolution of the turbulent unsteady incompressible Navier-Stokes equations.

Generic CAD - Computer Aided Design

FreeCAD FreeCAD is a multiplatform parametric 3D modeler. Parametric modeling allows you to easily modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters. FreeCAD is open source (LGPL license) and completely modular, allowing for very advanced extension and customization.
FreeCAD reads and writes many open file formats such as STEP, IGES, STL and others. If you have a faint acquaintance with SolidWorks the user interface might look somewhat familiar to you...

2004-2012 IBIS RJ.03 "The French Canard" homebuilt aircraft project
Visit my way more extensive Free Aircraft Design Software list
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