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Air taxi companies using NASA OVERFLOW software to predict aircraft noise and aerodynamic performance

Several air taxi companies are using a NASA-developed computer software tool to predict aircraft noise and aerodynamic performance. This tool allows manufacturers working in fields related to NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility mission to see early in the aircraft development process how design elements like propellors or wings would perform. This saves the industry time and money when making potential design modifications.


The results from a NASA software tool called OVERFLOW, used to model the flow of air around aircraft, are shown in this image. Green circles show the motion of air moving around the propellor sand blue waves flowing below show the motion of air coming from the propellors down to the ground. Source: NASA

This NASA computer code, called “OVERFLOW,” performs calculations to predict fluid flows such as air, and the pressures, forces, moments, and power requirements that come from the aircraft. Since these fluid flows contribute to aircraft noise, improved predictions can help engineers design quieter models.

Manufacturers can integrate the code with their own aircraft modeling programs to run different scenarios, quantifying performance and efficiency, and visually interpreting how the airflow behaves on and around the vehicle. These interpretations can come forward in a variety of colors representing these behaviors.

This computer program is available to industry for US release via the NASA Technology Transfer Program website.


An OVERFLOW modeling image from the manufacturer Joby Aviation. Red, green, yellow, and blue colors show the motion of air moving around the aircraft. The blue propellors show the blades are in motion.


An OVERFLOW modeling image from the manufacturer Wisk. Silver waves come off of the aircraft propellors to show it in motion.


An OVERFLOW modeling image from the manufacturer Archer Aviation. Blue and red streaks as well as silver are moving off of the aircraft showing the propellors in motion as air is flown off of the aircraft propellors.


Bernard Harper

Noise pollution from EAVs will be unacceptable unless they embrace ultra-low disturbance footprints from the outset. Most distributed lift concepts seem hopeless to me. Will they sound like 50 electric lawnmowers in the next garden? Stealth is essential for ubiquitous UAVs IMO.

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