eVTOL, urban air mobility, regional mobility, electric aircraft, MDO, MDAO, optimization


The advent of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) has necessitated a paradigm shift in aircraft design from traditional regression methods to physics-based analysis and the use of modern computational methods. This paper explores the intricacies of UAM aircraft design, acknowledging the limitations of historical empirical equations and advocating for the use of physics-based tools in the early stages of the design process. It underscores the importance of Multidisciplinary Design, Analysis, and Optimization (MDAO) as a means to integrate physics-based tools for conceptual design, facilitating decisions on configuration and sizing. The paper presents a comprehensive survey and review of computational models across various disciplines pertinent to eVTOL/UAM/AAM concepts, aiming to guide non-discipline Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the application of these models within an MDAO framework. Additionally, we present ongoing work on the Verification and Validation (V&V) of a soon-to-be-released toolset developed under a NASA ULI project toward designing UAM concepts using large-scale MDAO. V&V results for low-to-mid-fidelity tools are presented, demonstrating the accuracy of the tools for UAM concept analysis and design, as validated by industry leaders and comparison with authoritative sources.

Original Publication Citation

Darshan Sarojini, Marius Ruh, Jiayao Yan, Luca Scotzniovsky, Nicholas C. Orndorff, Ru Xiang, Han Zhao, Joshua Krokowski, Michael Warner, Sebastiaan van Schie, Ashley Cronk, Alexandre T. Guibert, Jeffrey T. Chambers, Lauren Wolfe, Rachel Doring, Robin Despins, Cibin Joseph, Ryan Anderson, Andrew Ning, Hyunjune Gill, Seongkyu Lee, Zeyu Cheng, Zhi Cao, Chris Mi, Ying Shirley Meng, Christopher Silva, Jiun-Shyan Chen, Alicia A. Kim and John T. Hwang. "Review of Computational Models for Large-Scale MDAO of Urban Air Mobility Concepts," AIAA 2024-0377. AIAA SCITECH 2024 Forum. January 2024.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date







Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor