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Surfaces 2.8 - Aircraft design and analysis software

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rbarnes

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Aug 28, 2015
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384
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Texas
Anyone heard of and/or used Surfaces 2.8 design and analysis software ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Thinking of buying it, but it's not cheap at $750 for the "homebuilder" version and $3,750 for Pro
Seems like an incredibly powerful tool for a layman like myself. Takes care of a lot that pesky maths shtuff....



 

FTEstudent

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Aug 27, 2020
Messages
17
I don't know anything about this software, but it's not mainstream. Unless they have wind tunnel data to backup the accuracy of their simulation mode, physics, meshing, I wouldn't touch it. Fluent, STAR CCM+, Open Foam are the real programs that are used in industry but they're not cheap. I have no experience with Simscale but they seem reputable for low cost users.
 

cblink.007

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Jul 7, 2014
Messages
590
Location
Maryland, USA
Anyone heard of and/or used Surfaces 2.8 design and analysis software ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Thinking of buying it, but it's not cheap at $750 for the "homebuilder" version and $3,750 for Pro
Seems like an incredibly powerful tool for a layman like myself. Takes care of a lot that pesky maths shtuff....



Believe it or not, XFLR5 and NASA's OpenVSP are pretty good for initial analysis and airfoil analysis/design, and both are free. We modified XFLR5 in house for higher Reynolds number, as the software was originally intended for model aircraft, and we have had good results with it!
 

FTEstudent

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Aug 27, 2020
Messages
17
Those are only for 2D analysis if I'm correct. Seemed like the OP was looking for 3D analysis capability
 

rbarnes

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Aug 28, 2015
Messages
384
Location
Texas
I don't know anything about this software, but it's not mainstream. Unless they have wind tunnel data to backup the accuracy of their simulation mode, physics, meshing, I wouldn't touch it. Fluent, STAR CCM+, Open Foam are the real programs that are used in industry but they're not cheap. I have no experience with Simscale but they seem reputable for low cost users.
Sales press flier says it was used extensively by Cirrus for the SR and Jet. Vids above are from an Embry Riddle Prof. because the school uses it.

While it does do 3D fluid modeling I was more interested in all the lift coefficient, CG, trim, stall speed, ect ect calculations it does through wizards and user friendly interfaces. For someone like me I can play around with different wings and tail shapes and positions and it will do all the math to figure out if it should work.
 

fly2kads

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Jan 2, 2010
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1,778
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Justin, TX
I tried getting openVSP, but didn't qualify. Maybe I shouldn't have been so honest?
NASA made VSP open source (hence the name change from VSP to OpenVSP), and as such it is freely available now, no questions asked. Check it out, if you want to try it again: Download OpenVSP

From the description, Surfaces is a Vortex Lattice Method (VLM) solver. There are several VLM tools that are free (the aforementioned OpenVSP, XFLR5 and Dr. Mark Drela's AVL among them). The features comparison for Surfaces notes that the "homebuilders" version is limited to panel resolutions of 16x16. That's on the low side, so you would have to decide if that is sufficient for your use case. One limitation that I see is that the program doesn't have a user-friendly way to model the effects of propulsion; the user has to enter some sort of equation to get it included in the model. Other than that, the developers make Surfaces sound pretty easy to use, and that's a good thing. It appears to be Windows-only, though, so I can't test drive it, myself.
 

J Galt

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Nov 29, 2019
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KMAN, Idaho
The professor that pushes it is Snorri Gudmundson, his book on aircraft design is outstanding. It is by far the best one, although incomplete in some ways and not perfect. He apparently was involved with the Cirrus Vision Jet. I don't know about the software personally, however, except from watching the tutorial vids linked above.
Justin
 
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