OpenAP: An open-source aircraft performance model for air transportation studies and simulations

Junzi Sun*, Jacco M. Hoekstra, Joost Ellerbroek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


Air traffic simulations serve as common practice to evaluate different concepts and methods for air transportation studies. The aircraft performance model is a key element that supports these simulation-based studies. It is also an important component for simulation-independent studies, such as air traffic optimization and prediction studies. Commonly, contemporary studies have to rely on proprietary aircraft performance models that restrict the redistribution of the data and code. To promote openness and research comparability, an alternative open performance model would be beneficial for the air transportation research community. In this paper, we introduce an open aircraft performance model (OpenAP). It is an open-source model that is based on a number of our previous studies, which were focused on different components of the aircraft performance. The unique characteristic of OpenAP is that it was built upon open aircraft surveillance data and open literature models. The model is composed of four main components, including aircraft and engine properties, kinematic performances, dynamic performances, and utility libraries. Alongside the performance model, we are publishing an open-source toolkit to facilitate the use of this model. The main objective of this paper is to describe each main component, their connections, and how they can be used for simulation and research in practice. Finally, we analyzed the performance of OpenAP by comparing it with an existing performance model and sample flight data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
Number of pages24
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Aircraft performance
  • Drag polar model
  • Fuel flow model
  • Kinematic model
  • OpenAP
  • Thrust model


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