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Piano: Aircraft Analysis Software

Lissys Ltd, United Kingdom

Lissys Ltd is an aeronautical software company dedicated to the development and support of the 'Piano' aircraft analysis package.

Piano is a powerful commercial tool with an established user base of major airframe and aero-engine manufacturers, research and governmental institutions, and environmental organisations worldwide. Originally written in Macintosh Common Lisp, Piano has recently been ported to LispWorks and the user interface is now implemented using LispWorks CAPI graphical toolkit. The cross-platform capability of LispWorks proved to be an invaluable strength. The highly professional LispWorks team impressed Lissys from the start by rapidly prototyping some examples demonstrating the feasibility of such a complex transfer. The actual port was then carried out through Clozure Associates in a timeframe significantly better than our early expectations and resulting in a very stable final product.

Since the inception of Piano in the early 1990s, Lissys has used Lisp to support rapid development. The malleability of the language was a key factor when integrating the multifaceted and interdisciplinary aspects of aircraft project analysis.

The flexibility of LispWorks also allowed us to create two separate tools, one that is fully-featured and largely intended for aeronautical engineers (Piano-5), and one that is freely downloadable and is addressed to a broader audience of anyone interested in aircraft evaluation with an emphasis on environmental emissions (Piano-X). A critical requirement for Piano-X was to provide a clean and simple interface on top of some highly complex underlying methods, a task that both LispWorks and Clozure handled admirably.

In our experience, the straightforward licensing approach and technical professionalism of LispWorks stand out in the complex landscape of software development and create a highly effective combination.

Piano analysis of a new business jet project Piano analysis of a new business jet project
Click image to enlarge

Links:
Lissys Ltd
Clozure Associates

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