Aerospace Aerodynamic, Thermal, and Acoustic Simulation

Today, aerospace customers are striving to build more efficient, "greener", and quieter airplanes. Reducing risks in the development process while compressing time to market is the key to success for industry leaders. The costs of developing a new aircraft continue to skyrocket, while regulations become ever more stringent, and customers are more demanding in their requirements and delivery timelines. The need to perform fast, accurate simulations has never been greater.

Building on SIMULIA PowerFLOW's remarkable success in transforming the way simulation is used in the automotive industry, aerospace companies all over the world are now beginning to implement PowerFLOW solutions into their development processes. High-lift wing design, community noise reduction, passenger comfort improvements, and thermal systems management safety improvements are among the applications where the PowerFLOW suite is already adding value to key industry leaders.

The aerospace industry — one of the earliest adopters of CFD — has already benefited significantly from the use of fluid flow simulations. For example, cost and development times for high-speed wings have been reduced significantly. Yet despite hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into the development of internal CFD tools, productive use of CFD is still limited to a very narrow set of steady state operating conditions at cruise speed. More complex geometries, such as complete landing and takeoff configurations with high-lift devices and landing gears deployed, can be handled only with significant simplifications and limited accuracy. Community noise is also a significant, regulated issue that in-house codes cannot handle due to the transient and frequency based nature of noise problems. Other applications such as loads, stability, and control continue to be out of reach for traditional CFD methods, and still require years of wind tunnel testing for each new aircraft.

SIMULIA's suite of software tools has the potential to overcome the limitations of traditional CFD in the aerospace industry. Complete aircraft configurations can be handled without requiring any simplifications of the geometry, with dramatically reduced turnaround times compared to traditional CFD methods. Airframe noise, which is caused by the airflow around landing gears and high-lift wings, can be simulated accurately and efficiently for the first time with PowerFLOW. Thermal management problems (such as the calculation of fluid and surface temperatures in the APU compartment, Nacelle, wheel wells, or the aircraft cabin) can be solved accurately and with full fidelity to geometry details with PowerFLOW.

The PowerFLOW suite helps aerospace customers to reduce overall development time and costs today — and the future looks even brighter. True “Digital Flight”, the ability to simulate an aircraft throughout the entire flight envelope, will be within reach in just a few years with PowerFLOW.


The aerospace industry places extreme requirements on CFD tools with regard to accuracy and reliability. SIMULIA realizes that the advantages of fast turnaround times and full geometric complexity are meaningless without ensuring the highest levels of accuracy required in the aerospace industry. That is why we continue to invest heavily in validating our technology against many fundamental and standard aerospace validation cases. SIMULIA works closely with key leaders in industry, research organizations, and academia to identify requirements, carry out validations against carefully executed experiments, and develop methodologies that guarantee the highest levels of reliability.

One of the main reasons for the outstanding accuracy of our tools is the fact that PowerFLOW simulations are inherently unsteady — just like the real world is. The inaccuracies and approximations inherent in the steady-state CFD methods dominating the market today are automatically avoided with PowerFLOW. Unsteady simulations with PowerFLOW are vastly more efficient than unsteady simulations with traditional CFD tools. For example, a complete polar of a fully detailed high-lift wing can be simulated with PowerFLOW in less than one day, with high accuracy ensured at stall and beyond, due to the unsteadiness of the simulations.


With broad capabilities and proven success, the return on investment for PowerFLOW can take only a short time. PowerFLOW reduces case setup time to a fraction of competitive methods, making even the most difficult simulations manageable, and saving you days to weeks of work. See for yourself how this one software code can tackle so many complex internal and external flow simulations.

Using PowerFLOW, you can make design modifications based on accurate data of CFD simulations on everything from high-lift aerodynamics, aeroacoustic noise sourcing, and thermal management needs. Another key advantage: the ability to carry out multidisciplinary simulations. Using one powerful tool, focused design engineering teams can collaborate to build tomorrow’s aircraft. Simulations for the different application areas are all based on the same fully detailed geometry model, and you can assess the design trade-offs (such as cL, max, and high-lift device noise) directly.


The PowerFLOW suite offers solutions for the following aerospace applications: