PROP_DESIGN is open source, public domain, aircraft propeller design software. PROP_DESIGN can also be used to design products similar to aircraft propellers:

  • Axial Flow Fans
  • Counter-Rotating Propellers
  • Electric Ducted Fans - EDFs
  • Geared Turbofans - GTFs
  • Open Rotors
  • Propfans
  • Turbofans (both Rotors and Stators)
  • Ultra-High Bypass Engines - UHBs
  • Unducted Fans - UDFs

Besides traditional aircraft, PROP_DESIGN can also aid the design of:

  • Airboats
  • Computers
  • Drones
  • Hovercraft
  • HVAC Systems
  • Radio Controlled Toys - RC Toys
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - UAVs
  • Vertical Takeoff and Landing Aircraft - VTOL Aircraft

PROP_DESIGN allows for the design of unducted or ducted aircraft propellers with straight or swept blades and constant or elliptical chord distributions. PROP_DESIGN can be used for all altitudes covered by the U.S. Standard Atmosphere of 1976. Efficiencies of approx. 80-90% are easily attained, even for effective velocities as high as Mach .85. Below are some other unique features of PROP_DESIGN:

  • Extremely precise; error of less than 1E-8 for the two variables that the program iterates on
  • Requires few computational resources (i.e. minimal CPU, memory, and storage requirements)
  • Executes quickly, even on mobile computing devices such as; laptops and tablets
  • Computes the static condition, the case where there is no forward motion of the propeller
  • Automatically determines the optimum propeller geometry for any operating condition that a solution exists
  • Can be used with designs that incorporate stators or counter-rotation
  • Designed from the ground up to make comparing two different aircraft propellers or two different operating conditions easy
  • Creates aircraft propeller performance maps for fixed pitch and constant speed propellers
  • Aids the creation of hot shape aircraft propeller/fan CAD software models
  • Allows you to find the optimum Fortran compiler options for your CPU
  • Very quickly and easily create 3d content for art and games, without having to do any propeller/fan design at all, using PROP_DESIGN_XYZ
  • PROP_DESIGN was released as open source, public domain software, so you are completely free to do whatever you like with it



In the past, aircraft propellers have also been called airscrews. This is due to the fact that, aircraft propellers work their way through air, in a manner similar to how screws work their way through solids. This does not help to solve the mathematics of aircraft propeller design and analysis. However, it is a simple way of understanding how aircraft propellers function.