Visualize YOUR Aircraft Sizing Results with NASA's Vehicle Sketch Pad (OpenVSP)
A 3D visualization is missing for many aircraft preliminary sizing tools.
NASA’s Open Vehicle Sketch Pad
is easy to use, but lacks an interface to input consistent aircraft data.
Such an interface has been programmed and is called OpenVSP-Connect.
Aircraft are sketched from about 50 parameters.
If these are not known to the user, the interface calculates them as good as possible based on simple equations from aircraft design or statistics.
Taken this to the extrem, a decent looking aircraft is drawn from as few as two or three input parameters.
OpenVSP-Connect is primarily intended as an interface tool between ANY aircraft design tool and Open Vehicle Sketch Pad (OpenVSP) from NASA.
OpenVSP-Connect needs OpenVSP for the display of the aircraft. You can download OpenVSP for free:
In the order of 50 core parameters of the aircraft are used to calculate the many input parameters required by OpenVSP to sketch a passenger aircraft.
For each of the core parameter a proposed value is given in the user interface and automatically applied as long as the user does not specify his/her own value.
The is a fundamental principle of the program: The user is never left alone with an empty data input field. Input fields are always filled with a proposed value.
By using all proposed or default values, the program works in "automatic mode":
Based on the minimum of just two input values "cruise Mach number" and "number of passengers"
an aircraft can be sketched automatically.
A presentation was made in 2013 at the co-located conference / workshop CEAS 2013 / EWADE 2013.
The presentation was registered under EWADE but shifted by the programme committee into the CEAS session "5.7 Aircraft Design Methods and Tools II".
The presentation quoted as an EWADE 2013 contribution:
SCHOLZ, Dieter; SOUSA, Tahir:
OpenVSP-Connect - Visualize YOUR Aircraft Sizing Results with NASA's Vehicle Sketch Pad.
In: SCHOLZ, Dieter (Ed.): EWADE 2013 - 11th European Workshop on Aircraft Design Education
(16.-19. September 2013, Linköping, Sweden) - EWADE 2013 uploads are pending.
The presentation quoted as CEAS 2013 contribution without paper in the proceedings:
SCHOLZ, Dieter; SOUSA, Tahir:
OpenVSP-Connect – Visualize YOUR Aircraft Sizing Results with NASA's Vehicle Sketch Pad.
(4th CEAS Air & Space Conference, 16.-19. September 2013, Linköping, Sweden) : Presentation. - Download: http://OpenVSP.ProfScholz.de
OpenVSP-Connect is a project by Aircraft Design and Systems Group (AERO) at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg).
The programme will be made public with the
GNU Public License 3.
Coming soon: Upload of the Excel program!
STAND: 05 October 2014
AUTHOR: Prof. Dr. Scholz
Prof. Dr. Scholz
Aircraft Design and Systems Group (AERO)
Department of Automotive and Aeronautical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences