Computational aerodynamics has been used for the design and analysis of the Kistler K-1 reusable launch vehicle. The aerodynamic design methodology for this new vehicle is discussed, and analytical results are compared with wind tunnel test data where possible. The basic computational approach involved the use of all levels of prediction methods from engineering methods to CFD codes. The unique aerodynamic requirements for this innovative launch vehicle configuration dictate the computational methods which can be used, and it was necessary to rely heavily on applied CFD for the aerodynamic characteristics of the K-1 configuration components. The practical and economical uses of computational aerodynamic methods to provide results for a number of challenging and unusual fluid problems are described.
Mendenhall, M. R., Chou, H. S. Y., and Love, J. F., "Aerodynamic Design and Analysis of a Reusable Launch Vehicle."