PDAS home > AeroSoft
Public Domain Aeronautical Software (PDAS)

There are a number of people and organizations that offer software and information that may be of value to aeronautical engineers and aviation enthusiasts. I have looked at all of these sites carefully and am favorably impressed by each one. However, I haven't checked out all of the software, so this is not a professional recommendation.

Link Comments
Abbott Aerospace Many computational procedures may be downloaded as spreadsheets. Look for Spreadsheets under Resources. Richard Abbott.
Aero code An aerodynamic computer that follows the flow through a propulsion system from free stream to inlet to nozzle, including inlet and nozzle geometry. Still in beta test and the author would like feedback. Nick Chettle.
AeroLogic The Personal Simulation Workshop - Loftsman for geometric layout of external lines, Cmarc for flow analysis, Postmarc for interpretation of results. Peter Garrison
AERONAUTICA 3D Creates aircraft and aviation oriented 3D computer models. DXF files, thousands of polygons
Aircraft Designs Books and Software plus consulting. Martin Hollmann, Rick McWilliams
Airfoil Design Workshop A useful wing lofting utility. Terry Majewski.
Analytical Methods Aeronautical consulting and software. Strong on user support and good interfaces for analysis codes.
AVID LLC AVID (Air Vehicle Integrated Design) offers aircraft design tools and consulting. Paul Gelhausen and Sam Wilson.
CADRE Analytic Finite element analysis software for structural analysis.
Calmar Research Among other things, Calmar offers Tranair and AGPS originally developed by Boeing.
Ceasiom Computerised Environment for Aircraft Synthesis and Integrated Optimisation Methods. A reasonably complete vehicle synthesis package with integrated optimization. Incorporates the Tornado vortex-lattice program. Free.
CFD Resources Online Links to many sites with CFD software
CFD Utilities (NASA Ames) The CFD Utility Software Library consists of nearly 30 libraries of Fortran 90 and 77 subroutines and almost 100 applications built on those libraries. Many of the utilities apply to multiblock structured grids and flow solutions, but numerous other reusable modules in such categories as interpolation, optimization, quadrature, rapid searching, and character manipulation appear from several decades of software development in the Aerodynamics Division and Space Technology Division at NASA Ames Research Center. (from the website)
Yes, this is more general than just CFD. There are numerous collections of well-written and well-documented procedures that are useful for diverse applications. In my opinion, Dave Saunders is the best code commenter and documenter in the business. It is a pleasure to read a subroutine whose purpose is clearly explained and where the input and output parameters are precisely specified.
Cise The Computing in Science and Engineering Portal. This is a joint project of IEEE and AIP and is based on the well known journal. It is to become a software repository, but right now it is more promise than delivery.
Conceptual Research Information on books Aircraft Design - A Conceptual Approach (3rd ed.), Simplified Aircraft Design for Homebuilders, RDS Software and Dan's short course. My favorite book list. Dan Raymer
CuSoft Research Some interesting charts and spreadsheets to improve your cross-country soaring tactics.
DARcorporation Advanced Aircraft Analysis (AAA) and other design and analysis programs. U. Kansas, Jan Roskam, William Anemaat
Desktop Aeronautics LinAir,Panda,SAND,ADW,Plot. Also Applied Aero textbook on CDROM. Ilan Kroo.
Dreese Software Airfoil design code. John Dreese.
FlightGear Open Source flight simulator
FoilSim Interactive airfoil (and baseball) solver. Good graphics. From NASA Glenn. Tom Benson.
GFSSP The Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program for analyzing steady-state and time-dependent flowrates, pressures, temperatures, and concentrations in a complex flow network. US Patent 6748349 B1. Alok Kumar Majumdar, John W. Bailey, Paul Alen Schallhorn, and Todd E. Steadman of Sverdrup Technology for NASA Marshall.
GMAT The Generalized Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) allows you simulate arbitrary interplanetary missions and calculate the required energy and time. This is like the PDAS program TOMARS on steroids.
Hanley Innovations A number of computational aerodynamic tools, such as VisualFoil airfoil analysis program., Multi-Surface Aerodynamics, Stallion 3D CFD package. Patrick Hanley
Hegedus Aerodynamics A new startup that will develop tools for aerodynamic analysis and design. One product, Aero Troll, available for download. Martin Hegedus.
Holy Cows Holy Cows is a project that puts a friendly graphical interface on Digital Datcom. Bill Gailbraith.
Lissys PIANO is industry-standard software for commercial aircraft analysis and competitor evaluation, with a calibrated database of planes.
M H Airfoils Lots of good info relating to model airplane aerodynamics. Martin Hepperle.
Mattingly Jack Mattingly has published a guide to the collection of programs that he has developed. Propulsion and performance oriented.
MetaComp Technologies CFD++ program
NACA.BAS A coding of the NACA airfoil geometry in Basic by Dave Lednicer
code.NASA NASA open source software.
Nielsen Engineering and Research Aeronautical consulting and software. Strong on missile aerodynamics, store separation, etc.
Open Channel Open Channel Software has most of the old COSMIC collection of software from NASA. They refer to them as NASA Classics. There is some overlap with PDAS, but Open Channel has a wide assortment of codes, not just aeronautical.
Optix and Mach-Up Premier aerodynamic design and optimization tools. Currently offering a general optimization code and wing design program for minimum induced drag. Doug Hunsaker
Optimal Aircraft Design ADS - Aircraft Design Software for the analysis and design of any aircraft configuration from UAVs to light transport aircraft. Didier Breyne.
Pilot 3D 2D/3D NURB surface design software that includes the UIUC airfoil database. Special tools include the ability to smooth the raw airfoil offset data, create 3D foil shapes, and output 2D/3D information for construction. Steve Hollister.
Potto Project The Potto Project was developed by Dr. Genick Bar-Meir and friends to build open content textbook and open source software for college students. Books, software and tables may be downloaded from the Potto site.
Rocket Propulsion Analysis (RPA) RPA is a analysis tool with an intuitive graphical user interface for the performance prediction of rocket engines. Windows, Mac, Linux. Alexander Ponomarenko.
S4PM The Simple, Scalable, Script-based Science Processor for Measurements (S4PM) is a system for highly automated processing of science data. It is the main processing engine at the Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC). In addition to being scalable up to large processing systems such as the GES DISC, it is also scalable down to small, special-purpose processing strings.
SketchUp SketchUp is a 3D modeling program for defining complex objects. Most examples are architectural, but there are several examples of airplanes. Video tutorials to help you get started. I hope to figure out how to create LaWgs files from such a definition. Maybe some bright folks will figure it out and show me.
SoarSoft Software CompuFoil3D program for airfoil plotting and lofting. Lots of features to help model airplane builders. Eric Saunders
SU2 The Stanford University Unstructured (SU2) suite is an open-source collection of C++ based software tools for performing Partial Differential Equation (PDE) analysis and solving PDE constrained optimization problems. The toolset is designed with computational fluid dynamics and aerodynamic shape optimization in mind, but is extensible to treat arbitrary sets of governing equations such as potential flow, electrodynamics, chemically reacting flows, and many others.
TetrUSS NASA Tetrahedral Unstructured Software System. A Rapid Aerodynamic Analysis and Design Capability For Complex Configurations by Non-Expert Users.
USGS Software from the US Geological Survey. There is a lot of interesting software here. It is all written for water so there is a big gravity effect that you don't find in aero codes, but you might find something of interest.
Vehicle Sketch Pad OpenVSP is a parametric aircraft geometry tool. OpenVSP allows the user to create a 3D model of an aircraft defined by common engineering parameters. This model can be processed into formats suitable for engineering analysis. The predecessors to OpenVSP have been developed by J.R. Gloudemans and others for NASA since the early 1990's. On January 10 2012, OpenVSP was released as an open source project under the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA) version 1.3.
Virginia Tech Links to many useful small programs from Bill Mason and William Devenport. Highly recommended.
Vrand Finite Element and Optimization Software. Gary Vanderplaats
WinFoil Another airfoil analysis/design program. Emphasis on model airplanes. Malcolm Hardy
XFLR5 This is a 3D wing plus body code incorporating XFOIL. Emphasis on low Reynolds numbers for model airplanes, UAVs, etc.
Xfoil XFOIL is an interactive program for the design and analysis of subsonic isolated airfoils. Mark Drela and Harold Youngren. Check the Virginia Tech site for valuable notes on running Xfoil.

Go to the aeronautical information page or the aeronautical instruction page or the web links page.

Public Domain Aeronautical Software (PDAS)