OpenVSP 3.33.0 Released

Earlier this year, the world lost a brilliant light far before its time. Alex Stoll was a kind and gentle soul, a visionary aircraft designer, and a good friend. Alex committed his career to eVTOL far before it was a thing — he helped create the revolution. Thank you for everything you brought to the world. This version is for you Alex.

A lot of recent development time has gone into long term work that isn’t ready for release yet. However, this release includes some cool features and a stack of good bug fixes. Everyone should update

The often imitated wing tip-cap feature introduced in OpenVSP 3.6.0 provided a simple way to create rounded (and other) wing tip treatments. Instead of wrestling with CAD, you got what you wanted with just a few clicks. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at airplane wingtips. In that time, I’ve noticed that the rounded tips of 3.6.0 don’t quite match how many aircraft do it. This version introduces a new extended tip cap type that should better match some of these cases.

This change had some unexpected ripple effects. The new tip caps are constructed with a challenging surface topology. OpenVSP’s mesher had to be improved to handle them robustly — and those changes should improve meshing for all shapes.

OpenVSP’s parent-child attachment is used to simplify building complex models by allowing the designer to express intent instead of values in positioning. This version adds two new coordinate systems that can be used to define attachment.

The RST coordinate system is a volumetric coordinate system defined within an object. This is perfect for packaging studies — where you’re working to place all the stuff you need inside the aircraft.

The LMN coordinate system is like RST — but instead of varying with parameter speed, LMN is linear in arc-length along the RST directions. Use RST if you want to position something on the third bulkhead. Use LMN if you want to position it one third of the way along the fuselage.

RST coordinates had previously been exposed via the API for some users doing cool structural MDO work. Take note, the S coordinate has been redefined to be double what it was before. Before, it existed in the range [0, 0.5] — now it exists in [0, 1.0]. If you stored old S values and you need to use them with a new version, just multiply by two.

Finally, ‘dimensional’ forms of the U, R, and L coordinate can now be used to specify attachment. This should make it easier to achieve certain results (attach to the third bulkhead) without doing any pesky algebra.

In addition to those features, there are some VSPAERO updates (mostly fixes) and a stack of general fixes. This includes patching a few memory holes that users had found — if you’re still seeing memory leak, reach out and we can work on building a better test case.

If you’re in doubt, you need this version. Download it now.


  • New extended tip-cap geometry
  • Convert CFDMesh 2D mapping to arclength based mapping.
  • Handle potential no-volume corners in CFDMesh.
  • RST and LMN Attachment
  • RST S re-defined.
  • Dimensional U,R,L attachment.
  • Visualize wake edges on vspgeom export.


  • Clean up behavior of pull-down menus with special characters
  • Fix remaining issues from snprintf conversion
  • Fix syntax errors in master aero V&V script
  • Fix some quad-mesh bugs in FEAMesh. Hopefully fixes needle meshes.
  • Make beam elements obey trim zones in FEA Structure generation.
  • Expand height of ExportScreen
  • Fix memory leaks from CreateParm() being called.
  • Fix memory leak in MeshGeom::Flatten…
  • Fix wake identification.
  • Handful of VSPAERO fixes.
  • Silence VSPAERO viewer checks for VSP_NO_GRAPHICS build
  • Silence cgx/ccx not found errors on Windows
  • Fix MeshGeom not scaling on load problem.

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