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FLIGHTSTREAM®

Fast aerodynamics with fidelity

FlightStream® is a surface vorticity flow solver designed to allow users to develop optimized designs for compressible and incompressible subsonic vehicles as well as transonic vehicles. Equipped with the state-of-the-art unstructured surface-mesh compressible-flow vorticity solver, FlightStream® eliminates the costly process of volume mesh generation and mesh-dependency on flow-field solutions and stability. FlightStream® provides the ability to design airplanes within an optimization pipeline in a fraction of the time taken by conventional CFD solvers. FlightStream® integrates with CAD, allowing users to import their geometries designed in any commercial CAD/CAE software (such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD, NX, CATIA etc.). The FlightStream® vorticity solver works from very small mesh sizes compared to traditional CFD solvers and serves to reduce user input in generating high fidelity surface meshes. FlightStream® is one of the most versatile and powerful aerodynamic analysis tools for aerospace, marine and alternative energy applications today.

essential solver features

tHE CAPABILITIES THAT MAKE FLIGHTSTREAM UNIQUE

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SEPARATION & STALL AERODYNAMICS

FlightStream® has a fully viscous-coupled non-linear flow solver that allows the accurate physics-based capture of boundary layer aerodynamics, flow separation and post-stall aerodynamics. FlightStream is the only "panel method" solver capable of such flow modeling for early design aerodynamics requirements. This is a perfect tool for the aircraft designer! Capabilities include the onset of stall, prediction of CLMAX and post-stall loads. This capability has now been validated for a range of case studies.

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VISCOUS-COUPLED FLOW SOLUTIONS

FlightStream® has a fully viscous-coupled non-linear flow solver that allows the accurate physics-based capture of boundary layer flow and its impact on the vehicle aerodynamics. Use FlightStream® to compute accurate boundary layer drag force results, viscous-flow ingestion physics affecting propulsors on BLI-configured aircraft, effects on lift and moment distributions due to thick boundary layers at high incidence angles and the onset of natural laminar flow instabilities that lead to transition. 

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UNSTEADY FLOW SOLVER

In addition to the steady-flow actuator models and the rotating-frame steady solver, FlightStream® also has a fully unsteady flow solver that can simulate arbitrary motion definitions of all kinds: rotation, translation, accelerations, flapping, and morphing. Since the solver works with only a surface mesh, no advanced volumetric modeling is required, but full volumetric effects (including viscous flow!) is still computed by the solver!

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6DOF MOTION SOLVER

One of the powerful features of the FlightStream® unsteady solver is its integrated 6DOF motion module. This 6DOF integration allows rigid-body motion to be applied at the component or vehicle level, enabling the early design rapid simulation of store separation, vehicle gust and turbulence response and passenger ride quality!

MODELING JET ENGINES

FlightStream® allows you to model engine inlets, exhausts and engine propulsion performance during the same solver run. Application of velocity and mass-flow boundary conditions at the engine inlet and actuator-based exhaust models for jet exhaust allows you to set up a realistic aero-propulsive environment that correctly models the fluid flow.

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Velocity and mass-flow boundaries to simulate engine inlets. Jet exhaust actuators can be cascaded to include core and fan exhausts.

STEADY PROPELLER SLIPSTREAM

FlightStream® enables users to generate steady-flow propeller slipstream effects on airplane simulations using actuator discs. These propeller actuator models allow for the evaluation of slipstream momentum, at no reduction in solver speed and agility. Designed to be computationally complimentary, you can add as many propeller actuators as your airplane needs. Place them in any orientation, size or a local coordinate system. All you need is the thrust, power and RPM of the propeller to simulate the steady-state effects. This is a perfect tool for the aircraft designer!

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ROTATING FRAME SOLVER

FlightStream® has a moving reference frame solver for the propeller designers! This solver assumes axisymmetric flow solutions, but remains a steady-flow solver that also includes fully viscous flow effects. Highly useful for computing propeller/rotor performance! FlightStream® also allows the user to generate net rotor/propeller thrust, torque, power and efficiencies versus advance ratios with ease.

CONTROL SURFACES

FlightStream® has a unique and innovative enhancements to its solver, designed to enable easy modeling of control surfaces. Capable of modeling control surfaces in all levels of geometric fidelity, there is something quite unique about FlightStream®. Consequently, you can simulate control surface motion for trimming, S&C and other analysis quite readily!

AEROACOUSTICS TOOLBOX

FlightStream® has a fully-integrated aeroacoustics toolbox implemented under a NASA-funded STTR activity. This toolbox is capable of modeling both tonal and broadband noise components of UAM propellers, rotors and flexible structures. FlightStream exports all FAA vehicle certification acoustic data at a click of a button!

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HIGH SPEED AERODYNAMICS

FlightStream is currently being extended for high-speed aerodynamics under a U.S. Air Force AFWERX Phase I STTR contract activity. Learn what this means for your transonic and supersonic analysis requirements in early design stages.

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SUBMARINE HYDRODYNAMICS

FlightStream is being used by the marine industry to analyze and optimize underwater vehicles using automated design workflows. These workflows are enabled by the high computational speeds of the FlightStream solver, which allows for full-vehicle loads, moments and stability derivatives to be computed in seconds, whilst retaining a high geometric fidelity as seen for the SUBOFF model here.

HIGH-LIFT AERODYNAMICS

FlightStream allows users to generate high quality analysis of high-lift devices in a matter of minutes. Analyze integrated forces and moments for advanced high-lift configurations using CAD model or custom geometry inputs. Motion of flaps and slats can be defined using custom transform tracjectories.

INLET & NACELLE AERODYNAMICS

Evaluate the aerodynamic impact of your vehicle's engine integration concept on the overall vehicle performance. Simulate operational engine inlets with specified velocity profiles and mass-flow rates. Model the nacelles with high fidelity and simulate the aerodynamic impact of their size, shape and positioning. 

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HELICOPTER AERODYNAMICS

Use the unsteady solver in FlightStream to simulate complex helicopter mechanics and their aerodynamics! Use the ability to specify custom cyclic and collective profiles along with the cascading motion definition feature to analyze main rotor operation. Test the vehicle in all flight conditions from hover to transition and forward flight!

HELICOPTER AERODYNAMICS

Use the unsteady solver in FlightStream to simulate complex helicopter mechanics and their aerodynamics! Use the ability to specify custom cyclic and collective profiles along with the cascading motion definition feature to analyze main rotor operation. Test the vehicle in all flight conditions from hover to transition and forward flight!

INTERNAL FLOWS & DUCTS

Use the mass-flow and velocity inlet boundaries deep inside the vehicle, right on the compressor fan face. Model the intricate internal flow in detail to compute the total pressure losses and viscous effects. You can even model solid rocket motor internal flows with FlightStream! Contact us for more details.

POST-PROCESSING & DATA ANALYSIS

THE ALL-IN-ONE AERODYNAMICS TOOLBOX

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FLUID VOLUME SECTIONS

Generate fluid volume sections around your vehicle to visualize the flow in detail! FlightStream allows users to generate volume sections in any user-defined orientation, plane and location. Volume sections come in two flavors: rectangular and annular. Rectangular sections allow for large external flow visualization. The annular sections help you compute viscous velocity maps in front of your propulsors or inlet locations! Perform Boundary Layer Ingestion (BLI) analysis using fluid volume sections. Export volume sections to Tecplot, ParaView or your own custom analysis tool for post-processing. Unlike regular CFD and their need for volume grids, FlightStream generates volume sections purely for your post-processing needs!

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ON-BODY STREAMLINES

Generate on-body streamlines through a simple click of a button! FlightStream allows you to generate on-body streamlines interactively through our graphical interface at any location, regardless of local grid resolution. FlightStream also generates viscous boundary layer data along the inviscid streamlines, allowing you to compute important vehicle design parameters. Export these streamlines to your own analysis through our automated scripting tools to feed FlightStream solution data directly into your design process!

CUSTOMIZED CONTOURS

Customize your field variable contours in the FlightStream user interface. Render high-quality visualizations of your data using our graphical routines and customization tools. Users have full control on the choice of colormaps, range, units, resolution and visualization modes. 

OFF-BODY STREAMLINES

Generate off-body streamlines at any location! FlightStream allows you the flexibility to create streamlines at highly-specific 3D vertex locations in space around the geometry, or through a variety of distribution tools (line, circle, cylinders and more!). Visualize your streamlines directly within the interactive graphical user interface for FlightStream, or export them to your analysis code for further post-processing. Either point-and-click on your graphical window to render streamlines, or use our fully-scripted functions to automated your workflow. Either way, we got this!

COMPREHENSIVE USER INTERFACE

FlightStream comes equipped with a highly interactive, graphical user interface. And yet it is also fully scriptable and automated through our extensive scripting API! Use FlightStream in a standalone mode, or in a fully-automated MDAO pipeline. FlightStream renders your simulation through the use of OpenGL graphics embedded within the GUI. Dozens of point-and-click tools enable you to take your CAD model and visualize your solution in seconds, add probes, repair your grid or extract data interactively. FlightStream is fully compatible with Windows 7/8/10 and the Apple iOS operating systems. Fully parallel solving capability is offered either through the OpenMP or MPI modes based on user requirements.

SECTIONAL DATA TOOLS

Generate a wide range of sectional data plots in FlightStream using our sectional data toolset! Users can generate sectional pressure, mach number and velocity distribution plots; FlightStream can also integrate these plots to generate net values for mass-flow, momentum-averaged total pressure losses, sectional force and moment distributions and more! Export these data extractions into your analysis code using our automated scripting API to embed the FlightStream analysis within your vehicle design pipeline.

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STRUCTURAL F.E. ANALYSIS SUPPORT

FlightStream® uses its incredible speed to allow the structural analysis engineer, to evaluate fluid interaction effects on their components in a rapid manner. Use FlightStream® to generate pressure forces around the component, map load distributions and moments about user-defined coordinate systems. FlightStream® is also capable of time-dependent solutions to model structural deflections. FlightStream allows you to map its solutions from the geometry to any structural analysis geometry input file, allowing you to integrate FlightStream® into your analysis pipeline. Export formats include MSC Nastran BDF files, Abaqus INP files and more! 

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ADVANCED FLOW VISUALIZATION

FlightStream allows you to export your simulation data to ParaView, Tecplot or your own custom analysis code. FlightStream can export not only the surface fluid properties (like pressure etc.), but also the viscous boundary layer parameters, wake data and more. Users can also choose to export embedded volume and surface sections, actuator renderings, probes and more! Generate high-quality renderings of your simulation data from FlightStream!

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TIME-VARYING PROBES

FlightStream allows you to generate time-dependent probes for all manner of analysis in the unsteady solver. Probes can be created for fluid properties, individual or clustered component forces or moments. As many probes can be created as required for your simulation! This resulting time-dependent data can be exported for aeroacoustic analysis, dynamic structural analysis, vehicle response analysis in the presence of gust or turbulence; and much more!

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OUR GROWING COMMUNITY OF FLIGHTSTREAM® USERS

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OUR ACADEMIC FLIGHTSTREAM® USERS

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latest news

FLIGHTSTREAM® AT AIAA SCITECH 2022 CONFERENCE

december 2021

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The FlightStream® team will be present at the AIAA SciTech 2022 conference in San Diego, California, from January 3-7, 2022. Visit us at the Research in Flight booth (#320) in the industry expo section of the conference. We will be showcasing the latest FlightStream features, as well as sharing details about our new development plans, applications and career oppurtunities.

Watch this space for more updates from the conference!

Learn more

validation studies

flightstream® is extensively validated with experimental data

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Learn more about our validation studies

OUR FLIGHTSTREAM® PARTNERS

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would you like to try flightstream®?

Get your hands on FlightStream® and see how it performs for your engineering applications