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2022 OpenVSP Workshop

What is OpenVSP?

For those unfamiliar with OpenVSP, it is primarily an aircraft-centric geometry and analysis software that enables rapid generation of conceptual models using components that are parameterized by common engineering or design parameters such as span, chord, twist, or sweep for wings or length and cross-sections for fuselages/bodies. With these building blocks, you can model almost any sort of outer mold line for a vehicle or object, from transport or fighter aircraft to inhabited space capsules and entry vehicles, boats, missiles, cars, trains, planets… the list goes on. Analyses and features within OpenVSP include a vortex-lattice / panel method aerodynamics solver, mass properties, parasite drag buildup, Finite Element structural meshing, unstructured CFD meshing, supersonic wave drag, intersected surface area and volume, and others. Models may be exported to numerous external tools in a variety of formats including BREP solid export to go straight from OpenVSP to gridding for CFD or to CAD packages jumpstarting the initial design work so users can focus on detailed modifications rather than the underlying OML. OpenVSP is highly scriptable and can be heavily automated to perform large design space explorations with the Python or MATLAB API or by the built-in AngelScript language. A comprehensive paper describing OpenVSP's history and capabilities may be downloaded here.

Users are welcome to familiarize themselves with the OpenVSP fundamentals by visiting the OpenVSP Ground School website Chapter 1 content.

What is the OpenVSP Workshop?

The OpenVSP Workshops are annual opportunities for users of all experience levels, including those with no prior experience, to learn about ongoing OpenVSP development and features directly from the source and to gain knowledge and skill in leveraging a versatile aerospace geometry design and analysis software. Representatives from NASA, Department of Defense, Industry, and Academia participate in the workshop alongside individual users to showcase new research, demonstrate improvements to aerospace discipline solvers and codes, and to provide OpenVSP best-practices to the user community. The Workshop also serves as an opportunity for developers and users to come together to discuss ideas and pose questions that help to guide the future of OpenVSP capabilities.

Technical Schedule

Topic Presenter Organization Video
Welcome, Workshop Overview, and Introduction to OpenVSP Brandon Litherland NASA Langley
Recent and Ongoing Support Rob McDonald Consultant
Basic Modeling Guidance and Examples Brandon Litherland NASA Langley
Integrated Flowpath Modeling​ Rob McDonald Consultant
VSPAERO GUI Overview (live demo) Brandon Litherland NASA Langley
VSPAERO Recent Updates and Improvements David Kinney NASA Ames Video
Beginner Interaction and Automation with the Python API and VSPSCRIPT​ Brandon Litherland NASA Langley
OpenVSP Curve and Surface Modeling Rob McDonald Consultant
Recent Updates to M4 Structures Studio and Live Demo Thomas Nascenzi M4 Engineering
OpenVSP Recent Structures Improvements Rob McDonald Consultant
Aerostructural Optimization of a Flexible-Winged Aircraft Using OpenVSP​ Tim Brooks NASA Glenn
FlightStream Updates and Integration Vivek Ahuja FlightStream
OpenVSP to FlightStream CCS Meshing Vivek Ahuja FlightStream
OpenVSP to CFD (and other stuff) Options Rob McDonald Consultant
Highly Integrated Ducted Propulsor Modeling For CFD Analysis Andy Hahn Consultant
OpenVSP Recent XSec Improvements​ Rob McDonald Consultant
CHARM Rotorcraft and eVTOL Aircraft Software Overview Dan Wachspress Continuum Dynamics Video
OpenVSP-to-CHARM Automation​ Brandon Litherland NASA Langley Video
Year 1 NASA ULI Weights Team Update: Using OpenVSP with M4SS for rapid physics-based weight surrogates of UAM concepts Timothy Cuatt M4 Engineering​
Low-Noise Propeller Design with the Vortex Lattice Method Daniel Ingraham NASA Glenn
OpenVSP Integration with the CREATE-AV ADAPT MDAO Framework AJ Field NAVAIR / NAWCAD
AFRL Vehicle Design Methodologies Jason Kao AFRL/RQVA

Please post a question to the OpenVSP Google Group if you have any questions about the Workshop content.

Thanks to the National Institute of Aerospace!

The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) generously hosted and provided support to make this event a resounding success. The NIA is a nonprofit research, graduate education, and outreach institute located in Hampton, VA. It was created in 2002 by NASA’s Langley Research Center (LaRC). The NIA collaborates with NASA, other government agencies and laboratories, universities, and industry to conduct leading-edge research and technology development in space exploration, aeronautics, and science. In addition, NIA offers a broad, multi-university graduate education program and award-winning outreach. best_shot.jpeg

Workshop Sponsors

FlightStream® is an ultra-fast, advanced reimagining of panel method flow solvers for the emerging distributed-electric propulsion, unmanned-aerial-systems aircraft and the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry and is capable of solving the aerodynamics of eVTOL aircraft. The FlightStream® solver is versatile and foundational in its ability to work with unstructured surface grids and have solver run times of only minutes for complex configurations. It has also been developed for specialized applications for the UAM/eVTOL industry under the NASA Transformational Tools and Technologies Program. Research in Flight offers FlightStream® in the form of software licenses, specialized modules driven by customer needs as well as training, support and services centered around FlightStream®.

M4 Engineering, Inc. works with inventors, startups, established companies and government agencies to solve “unsolvable” problems typically found in electric aircraft, eVTOL, Advanced Air Mobility, as well as more conventional aircraft and spacecraft. We help move ideas from concepts to prototypes through design, analysis. optimization and composite/fabrication services. We also develop MDAO software and offer Siemens Software to support our customers and can help you save time and reduce the costs associated with the design, analysis, optimization and manufacturing of high-performance systems and structures. Please contact us today at +1 (562) 981-7797 or, or visit

All Workshop Presentations

workshop2022.txt · Last modified: 2022/12/20 09:50 by ramcdona