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Composite Aircraft Design and CAD

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New Member
Apr 13, 2014
Rapid City, SD, USA
Ok, this is my first post so here I go! I am currently in the process of designing my own aircraft. Here is a link to see it in its conceptual state, I'll add a video tomorrow maybe. Airplane - Imgur I modeled this on 3DS Max and is actually my first model using that program (I usually use Sketchup but am now switching to 3DS) so there are a few little quirks in the model here and there. It took me approximately twenty hours to do and about 7-8 of that was me fixing my silly mistakes. I'm planning to use fiberglass as the prominent material in the design. Now on to my questions.

Software questions
1. Does anyone have any experience with using 3DS Max to design aircraft?
2. What are some other programs that are similar to 3DS but are geared towards aircraft design? I know Autodesk has a wind tunnel program that integrates with 3DS so I might use that for testing.
3. What are some programs I can use to simulate the structure of various types of fiberglass, CF, and other common composite materials?

Composite Questions
1. Could someone direct me to some successful composite aircraft designs?
2. Does anyone know of some insightful books, lectures, videos etc., of building and designing with composites such as FG, CF, and Foam?
3. What are your opinions of using composites rather that wood or aluminum.

Opinions about my design
If you could give me any opinions about my concept I've created it'd be greatly appreciated. I'm curious as to if anyone thinks the design will take advantage of the flexibility of composites. I'm planning on using a small automotive engine maybe V6 at the most. Not sure exactly which one I will use though. Will the cockpit need to be pushed back further than it is because I'm using an assumingly heavier automotive engine?