Product Overview

FLIGHTLAB is a state-of-the-art, finite element, component-based, selective fidelity modeling and analysis software package. It supports modeling and simulation of rotorcraft, fixed-wing aircraft, compound aircraft, helicopters, multi-copters, drones, flying cars and experimental aircraft configurations.

FLIGHTLAB consists of two products:

  • Development System

  • Run-time System

As well as a selection of add-ons:

  • Viscous Vortex Particle Method (VPM)

  • PilotStation

  • Simulation Validation Tool (SIMQT)

An image showing all of the different tools included in the FLIGHTLAB rotorcraft simulation software package.

FLIGHTLAB Development System

The FLIGHTLAB development system includes a modern simulation environment, modeling element and function libraries, and a collection of graphical user interfaces for constructing, analyzing, and simulating rotorcraft, helicopters, and other air vehicles. The toolbox includes:

  • FLIGHTLAB Model Editor (FLME)

  • Control System Graphical Editor (CSGE)

  • Analysis Workspace & Utilities (Xanalysis)

Using the development system, rotorcraft and other aircraft models can be built to fit their application with the desired level of fidelity. Depending on the fidelity, the development models can be used for engineering analysis, real time simulation, or both. The development system is also used to generate run-time models for real time applications.

An image showing all of the tools that are available inthe FLIGHTLAB development system

Key Features

  • Multiple bodies, multi-body dynamics

  • Nonlinear unsteady aerodynamics

  • Flight dynamics and real time simulation (including full flight simulators)

  • Flight performance, stability, controllability, and handling qualities

  • Aeroelastic stability, vibration, and loads

  • Aircraft systems analysis and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation

  • Couple with external programs including CFD and Matlab/Simulink


FLME provides the user with capability to build either an isolated subsystem or a full rotorcraft model, including rotors, wings, fuselage, aerodynamic bodies and surfaces, cargo, landing gear, propulsion system, flight controls, and external bodies. It allows users to hierarchically traverse the rotorcraft or air vehicle subsystems and select modeling options and enter modeling data.

External bodies can be modeled in FLME, including sling loads, ships, fixed or jettisonable external bodies, etc.

The functionality of FLME is augmented with the FLIGHTLAB Model Viewer (FLMV) which allows the user to interactively view the aircraft model as built in order to visually inspect the model geometry and configuration.

A demonstration of the FLIGHTLAB Model Editor building a rotorcraft model

Control System Graphical Editor (CSGE)

CSGE allows users to build a control system model, such as full flight controls, engine fuel controls, etc., for seamless integration with FLIGHTLAB. Alternatively, control models built using SIMULINK can be coupled with FLIGHTLAB for full flight simulation.

A demonstration of the Control System Graphical Editor Software building a rotorcraft control system model

Xanalysis Workspace

The centerpiece of the FLIGHTLAB Development System is the Xanalysis workspace.

Xanalysis provides graphical user interfaces to support various tasks including setting test conditions and aircraft configuration, trimming the aircraft, performing nonlinear response, linearizing the model, etc. In addition, dedicated standard utilities are provided for conducting tasks such as performance, stability, controllability, handling qualities, and aeroelastic loads/stability analysis.

Xanalysis also allows users to carry out custom analysis (including batch) using scripts written in FLIGHTLAB's simulation language (SCOPE).

An image showing all of the graphical user interfaces of the Xanalysis Workspace and it's capabilities

FLIGHTLAB Run-time System

The FLIGHTLAB Run-time System executes run-time models generated with the Development System. Input/output data from external systems such as control loaders, cockpit switches, image generators, etc. are communicated via shared memory and over the network.

The Run-time System includes a graphical user interface to control the run-time model, monitor parameters/variables on the Run-time System console, and manually set parameters as needed. The Run-time System can also be implemented to interact with a simulator host program using the FLIGHTLAB Communication Utilities (FLCOMMS).

The graphical user interface of the FLIGHTLAB Run-time System

Key Features

  • Hardware-in-the-loop (e.g., simulator, actuators, engines, aircraft)

  • Start, trim, step, stop, pause, checkpoint, monitor and record signals of run-time models

  • Run standalone, automated model validation tests using Simulation Qualification Tool (SIMQT) add-on


Development System


Viscous Vortex Particle Method (VPM)

Provides first-principle based aerodynamic wake modeling and is capable of capturing the mutual interference effect of all aerodynamic components in the flow field



Provides interface software (plug-in) and a 4-axis joystick and is packaged with open source visual software, such as FlightGear. It enables users to fly FLIGHTLAB development models at their desk

Run-time System


Simulation Qualification Tool (SIMQT)

Provides software to run a suite of tests on the model, extract results, and generate a quantitative test guide (QTG) report comparing the model results with available flight test data, including tolerance bands as specified, such as FAA Level-D, etc

FLIGHTLAB® is the leading commercial software tool for rotorcraft and helicopter modeling and analysis

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