MultiSurface Aerodynamics and 3DFoil

MultiElement Airfoils

MultiSurface Aerodynamics easily models complex wing geometries using multiple tapered surfaces (up to 30). The software computes the resulting Cl, Cd, Cm, the lift distribution, induced angle of attack distribution, the neutral point, angle of trim, Cl-alpha and Cm-alpha. MultiSurface Aerodynamics includes a body of revolution to simulate an airplane fuselage, a bulb for a keel and other applications.

MultiSurface Aerodynamics is used by engineers, designers and students as an interactive tool to design and immediately analyze aircraft wings, aircraft wing and body combinations, sailboat keels, bulbs & rudders, race car spoilers, hydrofoils and other aerodynamics concepts directly on their personal computer.

The software computes longitudinal and lateral static stability derivatives and other parameters necessary for efficient flight. It includes a built-in stand-alone airfoil analysis tool that computes Cl, Cd & Cm for general airfoil shapes.

3DFoil is a lite version of MultiSurface Aerodynamics. It excludes the body of revolution and has 8-surfaces (instead of 30). The remaining features of the full version are intact in 3DFoil including the built-in tools, airfoil library and stability analysis.


Wing, Canard, Tail Design & Analysis

Multiplane Design and Analysis

Winglet and End-plate Analysis

Longitudinal and Lateral Stability Analysis

Swept, Tapered and Twisted Wing Analysis

Analysis of Wings with Multiple Dihedral Angles

Keel, Hydrofoil & Rudder Analysis

Multiple Sail (thin membrane) Aerodynamics

Wing Analysis and Design

Unique Vortex Lattice Approach

Aerodynamics conceptual design and analysis is fast and accurate using MultiSurface Aerodynamics. The following analysis methods and tools are available in the software:

  • A vortex-lattice method based on vortex rings
  • A linear strength vortex panel methods for airfoil analysis
  • A novel solution of the ordinary differential equation form of the boundary layer equation for computing profile drag.
  • The ability to analyze any wing shape or wing combination including wings with sweep, twist, dihedral and winglets. MSA can determine drag reduction due to your unique winglets and airfoil cross sectional designs because it computes both profile and induced drag using a fast & accurate proprietary approach.
  • Compute and graph Cl, Cd and Cm vs. angle of attack sweeps for 3-D wing and hydrofoil systems.

Instant Stability Analysis

MultiSurface Aerodynamics computes the following:

  • Angle of flight
  • Yaw angle (slide slip angle) due to a cross flow
  • Roll rate about CG location (due to control surface deflection or non-symmetric surface)
  • Yaw rate about CG (due to control surface deflection or non-symmetric surface)
  • Rate of change of yaw moment with respect to side slip
  • Rate of change of roll moment with respect to side slip
  • Rate of change of roll moment due to roll rate
  • Rate of change of yaw moment due to yaw rate

How to Design & Analyze a Flying Wing UAV

Built-in Tools and Solutions

Feature 3DFoil Version Full Version
Vortex lattice method (using vortex ring)
Linear Strength Panel Method for Airfoil Analysis
Boundary Layer Solver (for profile drag)
Stall Prediction
Stability Analysis
Three Degree of Freedom Trajectory Analysis
3-D Body of Revolution
Number of Tapered Surfaces 8 30
Mirror Image Setting
Ground Effect Setting
NACA 4, 5 & 6 Digit Airfoil Tool
Built-in UIUC Airfoil Database (Over 1000 airfoils)
Custom Airfoils (Text/DXF File Import)
Precision Airfoil Plotting Utility
Export 3D Wings to STL File
Export Airfoils to DXF File
Printable Performance Reports
Cl, Cd & Cm versus Angle of Attack Plot
Lift/Drag Polar Plot
Streamline Plots
Export Tables to CSV File
Monthly Subscription $40 US $189 US
Yearly Subscription $229 US $995 US

How Customers Use MultiSurface Aerodynamics

"For this study, the aerodynamic forces and moments are computed using MultiSurface Aerodynamics (MSA)14 software."

Maqsood, Adnan, and Tiauw Hiong Go. "Study on aerodynamic assisted transition control technique for versatile UAV." 47th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Orlando, Florida AIAA Paper. Vol. 60. 2009.

"The aerodynamics of the aircraft is computed using a commercial code called MultiSurface Aerodynamics (MSA)[10]."


"Each board was analyzed with Hanley Innovations 3DFoil software to assess the lift and drag of the main shaft (vertical portion of the daggerboard) and the tip (horizontal portion). There is a significant carryover of the lift from one foil section to the other ..."

Killing, Steve. "Flight Plans: The introduction and refinement of foils presents intriguing design challenges for the C-Class catamaran teams competing in the "Little Cup"." Professional Boatbuilder, Number 151, October/Novermber 2014.

Featured Videos

Find out how easy it is to analyze a finite wing using MultiSurface Aerodynamics/3DFoil. Watch video.

Sail analysis using MultiSurface Aerodynamics/3Dfoil. Watch video (Note, this movie do not have sound).

Lift distribution along the span for three distinct wing types. Watch video.

Purchase MultiSurface Aerodynamics/3DFoil

3DFoil Subscription

3DFoil is a Lite version of MultiSurface Aerodynamics. It requires a PC, Laptop or tablet running MS Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10. The subscription cost of the 3DFoil version is $40 per month or $229 per year.

Subscribe for $40 US per month

Subscribe for $229 US per year

MultiSurface Aerodynamics Full Subscription

MultiSurface Aerodynamics (Full) also requires a PC, Laptop or tablet running MS Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10. The subscription cost of the Full version is $189 per month or $995 per year.

Subscribe for $189 US per month

Subscribe for $995 US per year

Related Software

Convert airfoil image to DXF file

New! Airfoil Digitizer

Airfoil Digitizer converts images from the Clipboard, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF to DXF, UIUC and VisualFoil formats.

More information.


Aerodynamics Toolkit

The Aerodynamics is a suite comprising of 3DFoil, MultiElement Airfoils (Lite Edition) and VisualFoil 5.0.

More information.