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Aircraft-design Software Workshop Supported by Langley Aerospace Engineer

About 50 aircraft-design experts and enthusiasts gathered at the Wright Brothers Institute (WBI) in Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 7-10, for the OpenVSP Workshop. This annual event is an opportunity to explore Open Vehicle Sketch Pad (OpenVSP), an open source, parametric geometry design and analysis tool originally developed by NASA and supported by the Department of Defense and industry partners. 

“These workshops provide the aircraft design community a chance to not only learn more about OpenVSP capabilities and the importance of parametric design in a workflow, but to also learn from each other and share knowledge and expertise,” says Brandon Litherland, an aerospace engineer with the Aeronautics Systems Analysis Branch of the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate. 

Supported by the NASA Transformational Tools and Technologies (TTT) project, Litherland helped organize the conference and led the audience through multiple, hands-on modeling demonstrations and advanced methods throughout the week. 


OpenVSP lives in this exciting realm where feasibility and freedom coexist to bring an idea to life for the first time.


Attendees included representatives from M4 Engineering, FlightStream, NAVAIR/NAWCAD, AFRL, NASIC, the Army Aviation and Missile Center, the Maritime Applied Physics Corp., the Alkhorayef Group, the University of Dayton, Syracuse University, GE Aviation, Boeing MDAO and Product Development groups, Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), and independent consultants.


Brandon Litherland (front row, center) with attendees of the 2023 OpenVSP Workshop.

“OpenVSP lives in this exciting realm where feasibility and freedom coexist to bring an idea to life for the first time,” Litherland says, “where a concept first gains shape, where pushing the limits of what an aircraft can be is the rule rather than the exception.” 

He adds that anyone can be a part of the OpenVSP community. There are multiple ways to contribute, from creating models and testing new releases to improving documentation or just answering questions from email.

For more information on how to join, visit the OpenVSP website. To learn more about how to use OpenVSP, browse the OpenVSP Ground School tutorial library.

Author: Sondra Woodward
Published: August 2023

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