DFDC: Ducted Fan Design Code
A Diamond in the Rough

Download DFDC
Introducing ESLOFT
Join the DFDC eGroup

This beautifully architected code was written for Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. by Mark Drela of MIT and Harold Youngren of Aerocraft Inc., renowned for such codes as XFOIL, MSES, XROTOR, AVL, etc... It appears that development came to an abrupt halt, however, and the unfinished code was released under the GPL as development version 0.70, available here.

And unfinished it is. One gets the impression of a work of art abandoned in mid flight by its inspired creators. Thankfully version 0.70 saw the introduction of multiple rotor/stator disks, along with a new solver which I have found to be efficient and robust. It quickly became clear, however, that some interface hacking would be required before effective work could be done with multiple rotors, so I started work and one thing led to another. Version ES1 fixed a lot of bugs and loose ends while adding enhancements to AERO, plotting, reporting, and multi-rotor functionality. ES2 introduced an entirely new facility in ESLOFT. Version ES3 is a significant update, fixing most known bugs and enhancing ESLOFT while adding blade editing and an experimental blade blockage model.

While DFDC v070-ES3a remains an "unfinished" code - not feature complete - it is maturing into a capable and robust application. Further enhancements will be added to this foundation.

Download DFDC v070-ES3.3

Available under the terms of the General Public Licence. Short version is here.
By downloading the software you agree to abide by the GPL conditions.


DFDC_070es33.tar.gz includes the DFDC v0.70 package with amended sources, additional sample cases, Esloft airfoil files, and documentation. Requires X11 support and C and Fortran compilers.

Download DFDC_070es33.tar.gz (1.0 MB)


This archive contains DFDC_070es33 and:
- 32 bit binary for Windows
- modified plotlib
- makefiles for Mingw Gcc4.52
- workspace and projects to edit files with Visual Studio

Download DFDC_070es33_win32.zip (1.7 MB)

Mac OS X

This archive contains DFDC_070es33 and:
- Mac OS X binary
- modified makefiles for OSX-gfortran

Download DFDC_070es33_macosx.zip (1.9 MB)

Requires X11, available here

Documentation (included in package)
Code changes
ESLOFT User Guide
Blade Blockage model (v3.2a) (pdf)


4 February 2015

Version ES3.3 posted for all platforms. Introduces ESBLADE file export for automated lofting in SolidWorks. For details regarding the associated SW macro, please contact Philip.

This Mac OS X build should work on Mavericks but possibly not on older Macs.

30 January 2015

Version ES3.2a binary package posted for Mac OS X.

25 January 2015

Version ES3.2a for Windows posted. This win32 binary fixes a lot of glitches in the v3.1a build.

25 October 2014

Version ES3.2a simplifies and largely automates the blade blockage user interface, greatly streamlining design cases with blade blockage correction.

4 April 2014

Windows package DFDC_070es31a_win32.7z posted. Thanks to JP Balza for setting up this build.

9 January 2014

Version ES3.1a fixes a bug in the blade blockage data auto-update in LOFT.

6 January 2014

Version ES3a is a significant update (and long overdue).

- MODI menu for editing blade geometry.
- Blade Blockage correction brings improved accuracy to design and analysis.
- New and modified commands streamline the design/redesign process.
- Updates to ESLOFT include persistent lofts across disks and splined t & t/c.
- Many important bug fixes.

October 2009

Version ES2a is a minor update:

DEL command in AERO is fixed.
Section pitch axis is now on the camberline.
New DIH command for lofting blade dihedral along a circular arc.
Various minor fixes.

7 May 2009

Introducing vES2 with ESLOFT

ESLOFT is a tool for getting rotor and stator blade designs out of DFDC and into CAD for subsequent 3D modeling, meshing or manufacture. This is accomplished by calculating on the rotor/stator geometry in conjunction with airfoil geometries (parent airfoils) and blade thickness distributions (user controlled) to generate points files which can be lofted in 3D CAD systems.

ESLOFT is fully integrated with DFDC and generates accurate lofts with minimum user input.

Load airfoil set Configure loft Blended sections

Zoom in on LE paneling Transformed Sections Plot section properties vs. radius

Lofted in SolidWorks... ARA-D airfoils MH airfoils

DFDC eGroup

Join for news and updates regarding DFDC, and perhaps to contribute as well (?)

Click to join dfdc

Click to join dfdc

© Copyright 2015 Philip Carter