photo [DPR]

Dan Raymer is President of the design and consulting company, Conceptual Research Corporation, and serves as Program Manager, Configuration Designer, and Chief Engineer for its varied projects. Currently these include the DARPA Flying Missile Rail, the Raymer Manned Mars Plane, and a proprietary high-altitude UAV.

Recipient of the prestigious AIAA Aircraft Design Award, Dr. Raymer is a recognized expert in the areas of Aerospace Vehicle Design and Configuration Layout, Computer-aided Design Methodologies and Design Education. During his 10 years in the Advanced Design Department of Rockwell (North American Aviation) he conceived and did the layout design of Rockwell's entries in what became the F-22, B-2, and T-45 programs, and was Head of Air Vehicle Design for X-31 from "blank sheet of paper" (CAD screen) to the configuration that flew (with minor fabrication-driven changes).

His industry career includes positions as Director-Advanced Design with Lockheed, Director-Future Missions at the Aerojet Propulsion Research Institute, and Project Manager-Engineering at Rockwell North American Aviation. He also served as a research engineer and aerospace design consultant at the famous RAND Corporation think tank.

Dr. Raymer is the author of the best-selling textbook "Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach" and the well-regarded layman's book, "Dan Raymer's Simplified Aircraft Design for Homebuilders". His biographical book, "Living In The Future: The Education and Adventures of an Advanced Aircraft Designer", covers his career and his design projects including most of those described below.

Raymer wrote and continues to improve the RDSwin aircraft design and analysis software. This is 100,000 lines of original source code including a full CAD module, calculations of aerodynamics, propulsion, weights, performance, range, mission sizing, and cost, plus carpet plots and MDO including stepping searches and Genetic Algorithms (in the professional version).

Raymer has received both Rockwell Engineer of the Year and the AIAA Summerfield Book awards. He is a Fellow of the American Inst. of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) and the International Society for Philosophical Enquiry (ISPE).

Dr. Raymer teaches a variety of advanced design short courses including the well-known five-day Aircraft Conceptual Design Short Course which has been attended by over 3,000 engineers to date. Dr. Raymer is often a Forum Speaker at the EAA AirVenture (Oshkosh).

Dr. Raymer received B.S. and M.S. engineering degrees in Astronautics and Aeronautics from Purdue, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a Doctorate of Engineering (Ph.D.) from the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). He is a recipient of the Purdue University Outstanding Aerospace Engineer Award which is given "to honor those alumni who have distinguished themselves in the aerospace industry". Dr. Raymer is listed in both Who's Who in America and Who's Who in Science and Engineering.

Interview with Daniel Raymer about his career and his design book in AIAA Editorial Echoes.
AIAA Article: Daniel Raymer Answers Some Questions
Raymer's Wikipedia citation


B.S., M.S., Astronautics & Aeronautics (Engineering), Purdue University

MBA, Entrepreneurship and Venture Management, University of Southern California

Ph.D. (Doctor of Engineering), Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan - KTH), Thesis: Enhancing Aircraft Conceptual Design using Multidisciplinary Optimization


1990-Present: President, Conceptual Research Corporation

Founder and manager of an engineering design and consulting corporation focused upon aerospace and high-technology. CRC offers conceptual design and analysis services, confidential design reviews, methodology consulting, and engineering analysis as well as short courses and software related to aircraft conceptual design. Raymer serves as Program Manager, Configuration Designer, and Chief Engineer for its varied projects. Currently these include the DARPA Flying Missile Rail, the Raymer Manned Mars Plane, and a proprietary high-altitude UAV.

1993-2004: Research Engineer/Consultant, RAND Corporation

Study and evaluation of future trends and options in aircraft advanced technology, and assessment of applicability and requirements for next generation aircraft. Identification and evaluation of emerging technologies, cost and risk tradeoff studies, notional system definition and evaluation, and technology maturation planning. Led and/or participated in numerous studies of advanced fighters, UAV's, and other systems. RAND representative and team member, Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Cost Commonality Working Group. Co-author of The Gray Threat, a widely-quoted RAND book that received a commendation letter from the USAF Chief of Staff for its insightful evaluation of emerging European fighters compared to US capabilities, current and future.

1990-1993: Professor, California State Univ. at Northridge, and Consultant, RAND Corporation and others

Lecturer at the Full Professor level at California State University at Northridge, teaching aerospace engineering and aircraft design. Served as Faculty advisor to Senior Design Lab, guiding students in the design, construction, and flight-test of a 32-foot span unmanned high-altitude research aircraft. Led student lab projects to design and build a laser-sheet flow visualization wind tunnel, and a twin-cockpit fighter flight simulator.

1987-1990: Director-Advanced Design; Lockheed Aeronautical Systems

Directed aircraft design projects in fighter, STOVL, hypersonic, and other areas. Functionally managed two departments totaling about 50 engineers. Initiated new IRAD projects in Advanced Fighters (F-16 replacement), Supersonic STOVL (Harrier replacement), Computer-Aided Design, and Subsystems Methods, and won several new R&D contracts. Received company's highest USAF IRAD evaluations.

1986-1987: Director-Future Missions; Aerojet Propulsion Research Institute

Founded and managed an advanced design/analysis group chartered with defining and evaluating the most probable future aerospace vehicle developments and technologies. Led studies of novel system and propulsion concepts for high-speed aircraft, launch vehicles, and interplanetary vehicles including combined- cycle SCRAM jets, solar rockets, nuclear rockets, and even-more- exotic propulsion concepts.

1976-1986: Project Manager - Engineering, Rockwell-North American Aviation


Responsible for management of numerous aircraft conceptual development programs. As Chief Engineer-Advanced Tactical Fighter, led a 77-man team which developed a then-novel blended-delta-wing/V-tail fighter concept based upon Raymer's initial conceptual design. Extensive supersonic wind tunnel testing and detailed analysis proved that this design concept could supercruise without afterburning at over Mach 1.6, maneuver as well as an F-15, yet offered radar signatures significantly reduced from then-current fighters..

As Project Engineer-Vehicle Design for the X-31 Supermaneuver Demonstrator, Raymer led the conceptual design of the X-31 and took the X-31 from 'blank sheet of paper' to the overall configuration that flew. This included extensive studies of innovative low-cost prototyping approaches. Unfortunately, had left the company before the X-31 went into fabrication and flight test.

As Project Manager-Computer-Aided Configuration Design and Loft, led the development of the "Configuration Development System (CDS)", an all-new CAD system dedicated to aircraft conceptual layout. CDS (later called CDM), was used for the conceptual design of the B-1B and X-31 and for numerous advanced design studies at Rockwell, the USAF, Navy, Army, NASA, and others. Raymer received the company's highest USAF IRAD evaluations and was named Rockwell Engineer of the Year for this CAD system development.

Trained and served as an aircraft configuration designer, and developed well over a hundred new design concepts for fighter, bomber, trainer, research, VTOL, cruise missile, and other aircraft types. Many of these designs progressed into significant projects including structural and systems design as well as wind tunnel and RCS testing. Raymer's designs were featured in numerous books and magazines as examples of "aircraft of the future" - even in the USSR.

For the inside stories of these projects and more, read Dr. Raymer's biography "Living In The Future: The Education and Adventures of an Advanced Aircraft Designer".


Aircraft Design. Aircraft conceptual design and evaluation (including fighters, bombers, trainers, transports, stealth, STOVL, & hypersonic), Aircraft Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO), Aircraft modification design & analysis, Advanced technology integration & assessment, Requirements tradeoff studies.

Computer-Aided Design. Development and use of CAD software, numerical design optimization, and graphics interfaces.

Launch Vehicle and Advanced Spacecraft Concepts. Conceptual design and analysis of advanced spacecraft concepts including winged launch vehicles & exotic propulsion applications.


AIAA Aircraft Design Award (2010)
AIAA Sustained Service Award (2003)
AIAA Summerfield Book Award (2000)
Purdue University Outstanding Aerospace Engineering Alumni Award (2000)
Rockwell Engineer of the Year (1979)
Aviation/Space Writers Association 1991 Award of Excellence
San Fernando Valley Engineers' Council 1991 Engineering Merit Award.
AIAA Distinguished Lecturer, 1990-1992

American Inst. of Aeronautics & Astronautics - Fellow
International Society for Philosophical Enquiry - Fellow
Society of Allied Weights Engineers - member
EAA-Experimental Aircraft Association - member

Graduate, US Army Airborne School
Alumnus, Arnold Air Society
Alumnus, National Society of Pershing Rifles

Editorial Board Member (former) - Chinese Journal of Aeronautics, Chinese Society of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Editorial Board Member (former) - Journal of Aerospace Sciences and Technologies, Aeronautical Society of India.
Editorial Board Member (former) - AIAA Journal of Aircraft
Editorial Board Member (former) - Aircraft Design: An International Journal (Pergamon)
Member (former), Board of Advisors, UC-Davis Department of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering

University Seminars & Lectures Given:

-Cal Tech -University of Illinois -University of Michigan -Purdue University -University of Kansas -U.S. Air Force Academy -University of Washington -U.S. Naval Postgraduate School -USAF Test Pilot School -US Navy Test Pilot School -Northrop University -Cal Poly Pomona -Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -MIT -Arizona State University -Univ. of Southern California -Univ. of Missouri -Univ. of Virginia (VPI) -Univ. of Nevada (L.V.) -Cranfield University -San Diego State University -Technion (Israel) -UCLA -Swedish Royal Institute of Technology -Chilean Aeronautical Academy (APA) -Brazil Military Institute of Engineering (IME) -Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC-Brazil) -Middle East Technical University (Turkey) -Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico -TEMS ERA/Society of Aero (online seminar, India)

U.S. patents:

-Variable Dihedral Tail Unit For Supersonic Flight, US Patent 4354646, 1982-10-19

-Reverse-Engine VSTOL Aircraft, US Patent 4901947, 1990-02-20

-Pioneer Rocketplane (Design Patent - co-inventor), US Patent D405750, 1999-02-16



Raymer, D., Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Washington, D.C., 1989 (6th Edition 2018)

Raymer, D., Living In The Future: The Education and Adventures of an Advanced Aircraft Designer, Design Dimension Press, Los Angeles, CA, 2009

Raymer, D., Simplified Aircraft Design for Homebuilders, Design Dimension Press, Los Angeles, CA, 2003

Raymer, D., RDSwin-Professional User’s Manual, Conceptual Research Corporation, Los Angeles, CA, 2013-2019

Raymer, D., RDSwin-Student User’s Manual, Conceptual Research Corporation, Los Angeles, CA, 2012-2019

Raymer, D., et. al., "Advanced Technology Subsonic Transport Study: N+3 Technologies and Design Concepts" , NASA/TM—2011-217130, NASA-GRC, Nov. 2011

Raymer, D., Enhancing Aircraft Conceptual Design using Multidisciplinary Optimization, Ph.D. Thesis, Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, 2002

Parker, S. (Editor-in-Chief), McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology 1997, Entry on Aircraft Design (pg. 13-16), McGraw-Hill, NY, NY, 1997

Buchan, G.,, Implications of Unmanned Air Vehicles for the Future of the Air Force: Executive Summary(U), RAND Corp., DB-286-AF, 2001 (coauthored)

Buchan, G.,, Implications of Unmanned Air Vehicles for the Future of the Air Force: Final Report (classified), RAND Corp., DRR-2022-AF, 2001 (coauthored)

Raymer, D., Next Generation Attack Fighter: Design Tradeoffs and Notional System Concepts, RAND Corp., MR-595-AF,1996

Stevens, D., Raymer, D.,, The Next-Generation Attack fighter: Affordability & Mission Needs, RAND Corp., MR-719-AF, 1997 (coauthored)

Raymer, D., Tactical UAV's: Design Requirements Tradeoffs & Notional System Concepts, RAND Corp., DRR-1763-AF, 1997

Lorell, M., Raymer, D.,, The Gray Threat: Assessing the Next-Generation European Fighters, RAND Corp.,MR-611-AF, 1995 (coauthored)

Watson, K., & Raymer, D., Airpower in U.S. Light Combat Operations, RAND Corp., MR-457-AF, 1994


Raymer, D., et. al, "The Raymer Manned Mars Airplane: A Conceptual Design and Feasibility Study", AIAA Paper 2021-1187, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reston, VA (online), 2021

Raymer, D., "Raymer Tells All (about his Textbook)", AIAA HUB Presentation (viewgraphs), AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2019

Raymer, D., Zhang, M., Rizzi, A., & Raymer, E., "Sparky Flapjack: Electric Aircraft Design Inspirations from the Vought V-173", AIAA Paper 2017-1184, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Grapevine, Texas, 2017

Raymer, D., "RDSwin: Seamlessly-Integrated Aircraft Conceptual Design for Students & Professionals", AIAA Paper 2016-1277, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2016

Raymer, D., "Trajectory Scripts for Aircraft and Spacecraft Flight Path Analysis", AIAA Paper 2016-1286, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2016

Raymer, D., "A Tail of No Tail (Advanced Technology Subsonic Transport)", Aerospace America, Nov. 2012

Raymer, D.,"Conceptual Design Modeling in the RDS-Professional Aircraft Design Software", AIAA Paper 2011-0161, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2011

Zhang, M., Rizzi, A., & Raymer, D., "Using CEASIOM-SUMO Rapid-Meshing in Computational Study of Asymmetric Aircraft Design", EWADE 10th European Workshop on Aircraft Design Education, May 2011, Naples, Italy

Raymer, D., Doupe, C., Fry, T., et. al., "An Affordable Flight Demonstrator For Fully-reusable Access to Space", JANNAF 2007 Joint Propulsion Meeting

Liu, H., Wu, Z., & Raymer, D., "Automated Scheme Adjustment for Conceptual Aircraft Design and Optimization", AIAA Journal of Aircraft, May-June 2006

Raymer, D., et. al, ,"A Rocket-Powered Technology Demonstrator For Responsive Access To Space", AIAA Paper RS3 2005-6006, AIAA- 3rd Responsive Space Conference, Los Angeles, CA, 2005

Sponable, J., Morse, A., Raymer, D., "Military Spaceplane Flight Demonstration Concepts", AIAA Paper, AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, 2004

Raymer, D., "Approximate Method of Deriving Loiter Time from Range", AIAA Journal of Aircraft, July-Aug 2004

Raymer, D., "Modern Use of Spreadsheet Methods for Aircraft Design, Sizing, and Performance Analysis", AIAA Paper 2004-0534, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, 2004

Raymer, D., "Use of Net Design Volume to Improve Optimization Realism",Weight Engineering Journal Vol 61 #2, Society of Allied Weight Engineers, Spring 2002

Crossley, W., Raymer, D., et al., "Comparison of Bit-String Affinity and Consecutive Generation Stopping Criteria for Genetic Algorithms", 42nd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting paper 04-449 , Jan. 04

Raymer, D., "Use of Genetic and Evolutionary Algorithms for Aircraft Conceptual Design Optimization", AIAA Paper 2003-0552, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, Jan. 2003

Raymer, D., & Oliveira, M.,"Santos-Dumont: The First Homebuilder", AIAA/ICAS International Air and Space Symposium, July 2003, Dayton, Ohio

Raymer, D., and Crossley, W., "Variations of Genetic Algorithm and Evolutionary Methods for Optimal Aircraft Sizing",AIAA Paper #2002-5839, AIAA Aircraft Technology, Integration, & Operations Meeting,Los Angles, CA, Oct 2002

Raymer, D., & Burnside Clapp, M., "Pioneer Rocketplane Conceptual Design Study", AIAA Journal of Aircraft Vol 39 #3, May-June 2002

Raymer, D., and Crossley, W., "A Comparative Study of Genetic Algorithm and Orthogonal Steepest Descent for Aircraft Multidisciplinary Optimization", AIAA Paper 2002-0514, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, Jan. 2002

Raymer, D., "Vehicle Scaling Laws for MultiDisciplinary Optimization", AIAA Paper 2001-0532, AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, NV, Jan. 2001

McCrea, M., O’Brimski, F., Strickland, P., and Raymer, D., "Beaking the Paradigms: Catapulting STOV", International Powered Lift Conference, Arlington, Virginia, Oct. 2000

Raymer, D., and McCrea, M., "Design of Jet STOVL Aircraft using RDS-Professional ", International Powered Lift Conference, Arlington, Virginia, Oct. 2000

Raymer, D., "Next-Generation Attack Fighter Conceptul Design Study", Aircraft Design (Elsevier Journal), Vol. 1 No. 1 March 1998

Raymer, D., & Burnside Clapp, M., "Pathfinder Rocketplane Conceptual Design Study", SAE/AIAA Paper 985596, Oct. 1998

Raymer, D., “Conceptual Design Of Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles”, SAE/AIAA World Aviation Congress, 14 Oct. 1997

Steffee, D., et. al, (co-authored), "Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) Commonality Study", JAST (JSF) Cost Analysis Advisory Committee, Washington DC, 1996

Raymer, D., "Aircraft Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing", RAND Corp. PM-611-AF, 1996

Raymer, D., "RDS-Professional in Action: Aircraft Design on a Personal Computer", SAE/AIAA Paper 965567, Oct. 1996

Raymer, D., "Multivariable Aircraft Optimization on a Personal Computer", SAE/AIAA Paper 965609, Oct. 1996

Raymer, D.,"Notional Design of an Advanced Strike Fighter", AIAA Paper 95-3922, September, 1995

Raymer, D.,"Aircraft Aerodynamic Analysis on a Personal Computer", SAE Paper 932530, Aerotech 93, Sept 27, 1993

Raymer, D., et al, “Project ARES III,” Proceedings of the 8th Annual Summer Conference: NASA/USRA Advanced Design Program, Jan. 1992, pgs. 406-412

Raymer, D., "RDS: A PC-Based Aircraft Design, Sizing, and Performance System," AIAA Paper 92-4226, Aug. 1992

Raymer, D., "Post-stall Maneuver and the Classic Turn Rate Plot," AIAA Paper 91-3170, Sept. 1991

Raymer, D., "Configuration Development", Proceedings of the AGARD Special Course in Engineering Methods in Aerodynamic Analysis and Design, AGARD Report R-783, Paris, France, 1991

Raymer,D., and Norris, M., "Next Generation Fighters: Roles & Concepts", AIAA Aerospace Engineering Conference, Los Angeles, 1990

Raymer, D., "Raymer's Rules for Young Engineers, or How to Succeed in Aerospace by Really Trying", AIAA Student Journal, March 1991

Raymer, D., Chin, Y., Kiefer, Y., et al, "Supersonic STOVL: The Future is Now", Aerospace America, Aug. 1990

Raymer, D., "The Impact of VTOL on the Conceptual Design Process", AIAA Aircraft Design Meeting Paper 88-4479, Sept. 1988

Raymer, D., "CDS Grows New Muscles", Astronautics and Aeronautics, June 1982

Raymer, D., "Supercruise for a STOL Dogfighter", Aerospace America, Aug. 1985

Raymer, D., and Tice, S., "CDS: The Designer's Media, the Analyst's Model", 13th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, Paper 82-1.7.2, Aug. 1982

Raymer, D., Kojima, J., Maier, R., "Use of Homogeneous Coordinate Transformations in Kinematic Design", AIAA Journal of Aircraft, Aug. 1980

Raymer, D., Configuration Development System (Computer program methodologies and user's manual), Rockwell Report TFG 78-755-3, April 1981

Raymer, D., Use of Computers in the (Conceptual) Design Process, Lecture notes, University of Dayton Short Course in Aircraft Design, 1982

Wiler, C. and Raymer, D., "Advanced Strategic Aircraft Concepts", AIAA 18th Aerospace Sciences Meeting Paper 80-0188, Jan. 1980

Raymer, D., "Developing an Aircraft Configuration Using a Minicomputer", Astronautics and Aeronautics, Nov. 1979

Wiler, C. and Raymer, D., "Manned Strategic Systems Concepts 1990-2000", AIAA Aircraft Systems and Technologies Meeting Paper 79-1793, Aug. 1979

Raymer, D., "A computer-aided aircraft Configuration Development System", AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting paper 79-64, Jan. 1979

Raymer, D., "Wind tunnel investigation of devices to reduce bus aerodynamic drag", 13th AIAA Annual Meeting paper 77-307, Jan. 1977.


Technical Advice Screen Credit - "Future Flight " Television Special starring Christopher Reeve, Arnold Shapiro Productions , aired 1987.

Technical Advisor - Battle of the X-Planes, Nova Science Programming, 2003


Ratings: Single-Engine Land, Single-Engine Sea, (plus aerobatic instruction)

Aircraft Flown as Pilot-in-Command:

Sling 2, Sling 4, J-3 Cub, Champ, Citabria, Decatholon, C-150, C-152, C-172, C-172 on floats, Great Lakes Biplane, Luscombe 8-E, Stinson 108-3, Pitts S-III, Piper Cherokee, Stinson 108-2 on floats, Piper Tomahawk, various hang gliders

Other Aircraft Flown (non-PIC):

F-4, T-38, T-37, Lear 36, SAAB SK-60, SAAB J-35 Draken, Lockheed P-3, Navion, Pillan, Avion Liviano, Hughes 269c, Scottish Aviation Bulldog, Marchetti SF260, ICON A5, Aviat/Christen Eagle II

High-Quality Simulators Flown:

F-22, X-31, B-727, T-37, T-39 (Saberliner), C-130, C-130 HTTB, Lockheed RIVET, SAAB Viggen, SAAB Gripen, BAe ATP, HAL Tejas (Indian Light Combat Aircraft), Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft ("Roc"), Bombardier Global 6000 the back seat of the Draken.


Updated 1-21
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