An XML Aircraft Geometry Format


Purpose of XML-Files

The eXtensible Markup Language format (XML) is being used by many programs for almost all kind of data handling. In contrast to several other file formats, its main advantages are

I have defined an XML schema to represent the geometry of aircraft, which can be used to describe the geometry of multi winged aircraft configurations. It would be very helpful, if such a format would be implemented by most programs which handle wings. Wings can be main wings as well as tailplanes of all kinds.

Structure of an XML-File

Any  XML file is made up from tags similar to a HTML file. Tags are enclosed in pointed parentheses (<tag>). Each XML file must begin with the header tag:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

Tags must occur in pairs - opening and closing tags must be paired. In contrast to HTML the names of the remaining tags are not prescribed, but can be defined by the user. To be useful for data transfer, the names of the tags must be known to and data receiver. Therefore an XML scheme can be set up, which describes the tag names and their content.

The XML-Schema

As tags can be nested, it is possible to create an object oriented  representation of structured data quite well. For example an aircraft consists of multiple wings, which in turn can be composed of many trapezoidal wing segments. Each wing segment may be defined by dihedral and sweep angles and its length as well as its airfoil sections.

My XML configuration schema is named "configuration-schema" of course and is stored in an XML file "configuration-schema.xsd". Currently it only describes systems of trapezoidal wings. A complete structured description of the schema and all its elements can be found here.

Defining an XML-File based on the Configuration-Schema

The proposed configuration schema describes the geometry of wings only. A configuration  can be made up from an arbitrary number of wings. Each wing consists of a sequence of trapezoidal wing segments attached to each other. It is possible to model any wing shape, including winglets or box type structures. Currently, any special planforms like elliptical shapes must be defined by a sequence of trapezoidal elements. While it would be possible to extend the description to surfaces having curved leading and trailing edges, this would make the implementation of these features in all programs working with these data necessary.

An extension for fuselages has already been defined and tested, but is not included in the current release.

Last modification of this page: 21.05.18

[Back to Home Page] Suggestions? Corrections? Remarks? e-mail: Martin Hepperle.

Due to the increasing amount of SPAM mail, I have to change this e-Mail address regularly. You will always find the latest version in the footer of all my pages.

It might take some time until you receive an answer and in some cases you may even receive no answer at all. I apologize for this, but my spare time is limited. If you have not lost patience, you might want to send me a copy of your e-mail after a month or so.
This is a privately owned, non-profit page of purely educational purpose. Any statements may be incorrect and unsuitable for practical usage. I cannot take any responsibility for actions you perform based on data, assumptions, calculations etc. taken from this web page.

1996-2018 Martin Hepperle
You may use the data given in this document for your personal use. If you use this document for a publication, you have to cite the source. A publication of a recompilation of the given material is not allowed, if the resulting product is sold for more than the production costs.

This document may accidentally refer to trade names and trademarks, which are owned by national or international companies, but which are unknown by me. Their rights are fully recognized and these companies are kindly asked to inform me if they do not wish their names to be used at all or to be used in a different way.

This document is part of a frame set and can be found by navigating from the entry point at the Web site

Impressum       Datenschutz