I am well aquainted with the six steps of the engineering process, but what is the six steps of design specifically for aircrafts (if there is one)?
I'm very mathematical, so I would appreciate it if you could include equations that are necessary for each step.
Also, does anyone have a CFD that they would recommend? I'm building models in AutoCad, and am currently working with a CFD called Anasys.

Right now, I understand how the different components of a plane affect its flight, but I am really more interested in understanding how to design a plane using math. I do a lot of work with rockets, which is governed by a pretty good set of written equations, but I was hoping I could do similar in the field of airplanes.

  • $\begingroup$ If you use AutoCAD, its makers also have a CFD software called Autodesk FlowDesign. It is not free, but you can get it free for three years with an education licence. Welcome to Aviation.SE! $\endgroup$ – ClobberXD Nov 17 '17 at 5:32

Maths have their place in pre-design of aircraft, but it is still a design process so creativity has a place as well. Designing a plane is an iterative process, that also includes steps like determining what the plane is used for, what the payload will be, what the range should be, is it allowed to use a runway etc.

Once these factors are determined and honed down, there is a lot of math to be applied to check if the wing can support the weight, if the engines can propel the plane, if the structures can take the static and fatigue load, if the hydraulic pumps are dimensioned correctly, if the control surfaces are dimensioned correctly...

Rockets are relatively easy in that respect. Not taking anything away from the achievement of putting men on the moon, but a rocket has a single mission type, has very little bother with aerodynamics, and does not need to be optimised for decades of safe, economical or mission ready use.

One aspect of aeroplane design where maths & physics rule is aerodynamics, but what's great for aerodynamics is usually not great for structural engineering for instance. So if you would like to focus on maths only, aerodynamics would be a good place to start. Please realise that it is only one aspect of aeroplane design though.

The complete process of aeroplane design is really a lengthy process that does not fit within one answer on this site. I can recommend my goto book for design aspects, Torenbeek. It has 600 pages. Check out Appendix C. on a mathematical method for weight prediction of the wing structure for instance.

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    $\begingroup$ You would be surprised how much a rocket is bothered by aerodynamics. Not for nothing is one of the most important points in the trajectory the max q point, that with the highest aero loads. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Nov 20 '17 at 11:58

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