Introducing FAST: A New Open-Source Software for Aircraft Design and Analysis

Professor Çınar unveils the newest open-source software for conventional and electrified aircraft concepts

Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, Gökçin Çınar, along with PhD students Maxfield Arnson and Paul Mokotoff, have released the Future Aircraft Sizing Tool (FAST), an open-source MATLAB-based software which facilitates the design and analysis of both conventional and electrified aircraft concepts. 

“This tool has been in development for the past two years and aims to simplify aircraft sizing for both conventional and electrified aircraft. Its user-friendly interface and embedded historical database allow users, particularly students and researchers, to easily size aircraft with minimal input requirements,” explained Çınar upon announcing its official launch. 

This groundbreaking software, developed by Çınar’s group in the Integrated Design of Environmentally-friendly Aerospace Systems (IDEAS) Lab at the University of Michigan, is a product of their ongoing research funded by the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and the NASA Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration project.

The FAST software is designed to support any propulsion architecture and requires minimal knowledge and inputs from the user, making it a versatile tool for aerospace engineers, researchers, students and enthusiasts. 

“We aim to make FAST accessible to both students and experts alike. The learning curve is minimal. Beginners can start with just a few inputs thanks to its embedded predictive modeling capability, while seasoned users can provide more data for sophisticated designs,” Çınar continued. “This software is significant not only for its technical contributions but also for its potential to elevate our department’s profile in sustainable aviation technologies.”

Professor Çınar has been leading the charge towards a sustainable future for aviation as one of the key members in the Michigan Initiative for Sustainable Aviation (MISA) at the University of Michigan. This initiative has been successfully leveraging interdisciplinary partnerships and empowering government, researchers and industry leaders to work towards solving environmental challenges related to sustainability in aviation. Together, this code has applications in designing sustainable aviation technologies as well as assisting the push towards well-managed open source projects across the research community.

Key Features of FAST:

  • Uses a historical database of over 200 aircraft and engines with embedded predictive modeling, allowing FAST to function with minimal input
  • Supports a wide range of aircraft concepts, from conventional to advanced electrified designs
  • Combines physics-based and data-driven models for increased accuracy
  • Predicts future trends in aircraft design, with technology projections to the year 2050 and beyond
  • Provides dynamic visualizations of aircraft geometry and propulsion architecture, updating with design changes

Learn about FAST and how to start using it:
Check out video tutorials on the IDEAS Lab YouTube channel on how to use FAST and subscribe for more updates.