MachUp 2 with Aero Suite

MachUp 23689661670?profile=original

Hi guys - I just released MachUp 2. It's been a long time in the making, but I think it's turned out to be a very useful tool. Features include:

- Quick Geometry Input

- Control Surfaces

- Linear Aerodynamics

- Stability/Control/Damping Derivatives

- Pitch Trim

- Stall Onset

- Loading Distributions

You can see the full feature list at my site: As you probably know, I see a lot of progress that can be made in the UAV design tools that are currently available by way of making them more user friendly and "streamlined" for the industry. If you have feedback or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.



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  • Thanks

  • @Eli: We're working hard to get it open to designers world-wide. We believe it falls under US international trade regulations and are trying to successfully navigate the regulations. We'll let you know when it's finally available world-wide!

  • Hi, that`s a great tool.
    But why whouldnt you open it worldwide.

  • Hey guys,

    Sam and I have talked a lot about how we can better serve the DIY community with MachUp. We're considering adding another license type for non-profit organizations and hobbyists that would be heavily discounted. But before we do, we'd like to really understand answers to a few questions. Would you be willing to respond and give us your opinion?

    1. Why are the guys in DIY drones interested in MachUp? What job are they trying to do with it? MachUp is an analysis tool, and it seems DIY guys don't usually do much analysis before they build. We've had a lot of traffic to our site from the DIY drone community, but why? What is the job you hope to do with MachUp? Is it aerodynamic analysis? Control gains for autopilots? Pretty graphics?

    2. If MachUp can do the job that DIY guys are looking for, what are they ACTUALLY willing to pay? What's it actually worth to them? The quality and user friendliness of MachUp is on par with other very expensive software (>$10k). What is the price point that DIY guys would pay to use it? Would DIY guys use it if it required a monthly subscription? Or would they prefer a yearly cost? Are they willing to pay anything at all?

    3. If you could drag and drop off-the-shelf components into MachUp (like props, batteries, motors, ESCs, etc.), and then click "print" or "purchase" and get that entire unit (airframe and all electronics) delivered to your house in a week, would that be of interest?

    In short, we want MachUp to be useful to this community and are trying to figure out how to best do that. We've learned a lot from your comments, and would love to hear more of your thoughts.


  • @Guy: I realize the geo restrictions seem a little odd. The US is really particular on what they allow us to export that could be used for weapon or military purposes. Unfortunately, this type of software appears to fall within these restrictions. There's a somewhat lengthy process we have to go through to get permission to "export" the software or access to the site, so we're working through that and hope to have it cleared up soon.

  • @Andrew We've internally validated the code against other sources, but plan to add more public validation data as soon as we can. I realize Roskam is a good place to start and hope to get some results up there soon.

    @Martin: I wish I had the rights to those articles to release them for free. :) I realize that's annoying, and we'll get free validation data up soon.

  • The problem with the articles page is that the articles are behind a pay wall.

    It would be nice to see how your actual implementation compares with other VLM and CFD software.

  • Looks like a heck of an improvement over the original MachUp man, nice job. The price a super bummer when compared to the free options, does one of your videos compare your output derivatives to any other programs or maybe some stuff you might find in a textbook like Roskam? 

  • Great tool but a bit expensive for the drone community. Might be worth offering a free version with more capabilities for non for profits.

  • @Julian: XFLR5 is a powerful tool, but also requires a fairly steep learning curve. Also, I've seen results I didn't trust (although I haven't dug into the theory of their method).

    MachUp is based on a modern numerical potential flow algorithm that incorporates viscous effects. It's been validated many times against CFD, and I trust it more than any other panel method, VLM method, and even more than CFD in many situations. So for starters, the accuracy you can get from this method is very good. I linked several journal papers to the site if you'd like to learn more about that:

    You mentioned another important factor: integration with Matlab. Trying to integrate an optimization routine into XFLR5, ASWING, AVL, etc. is not trivial. But it can be done with MachUp in just 2 lines of code. MachUp uses a modern object-oriented interface that makes adding geometry, running sweeps, optimization, etc. very easy. As an aerodynamicist, I know I spend a ton of time just moving data around and trying to get tools to talk to each other. The MachUp interface is a huge benefit.

    As for fuselage treatment, dynamic thrust, etc, we have a huge list of features we'll be adding over the next several months. But we realized that for lots of fixed-wing aircraft, the tool was already far enough along to be really useful. This would be my first-choice tool for just about any fixed-wing UAV design.

    As with any type of software, you can find premium tools and free tools. Compare Linux to Windows, to MS Office, Gimp to Adobe Photoshop. People often choose paid software because it is supported, is generally better, more user friendly, etc. If you'd like to compare the cost of MachUp to other similar tools, here is a list: (~$10,000 I believe for VLAERO+) (I think it is between 7k-8k per year) ($3,885)
    Plus (and this is a huge benefit) the basic version of MachUp is ABSOLUTELY FREE and includes global aerodynamic calculations. It's extremely useful for people who don't want to spend much money or just want to check a design quickly.
    Hope that helps.
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