Design of box-wing transport aircraft

The PrandtlPlane configuration is an innovative aircraft concept based on the Box-Wing architecture and the Best Wing System theory. This architecture minimizes the induced drag among all the lifting systems with the same lift and span, providing high aerodynamic efficiency and, consequently, higher performance in terms of fuel consumption and noxious emissions.

The configuration is widely studied and developed at DICI, starting from the conceptual design activities to the more advanced detailed investigations. More in detail, the activities on the PrandtlPlane configuration involve:

  • Aerodynamic design and optimization of the Box-Wing system;
  • Aeromechanic analysis and dynamic behaviour investigation of the PrandtlPlane;
  • Structural and Aeroelastic design of the Box-Wing system;
  • Performance evaluation and comparative analysis with conventional aircraft.

The research on this disruptive configuration relates also to flight-testing activities on several scaled models of PrandtlPlane.

Research group
Aldo Frediani, Vittorio Cipolla, Karim Abu Salem, Marco Picchi Scardaoni, Giuseppe Palaia, Gianpietro Di Rito, Mario Chiarelli, Alessandro Quarta, Giovanni Lombardi, Fabrizio Paganucci, Monica Puccini

External collaborations:


  • University of Pisa / DICI & DESTEC, MB Vision, EDI Progetti, ISIA Firenze, CGS, Daxo, Humanware, Dielectrik


  • University of Pisa / DICI & DEM (IT), TU Delft (NL), DLR (DE), ONERA (FR), SkyBox Engineering (IT), ENSAM (FR)

PROSIB Project:

  • Leonardo Spa, University of Pisa, SkyBox Engineering Srl, Aeromechs Srl, Politecnico di Torino, Università di Napoli Federico II, CIRA, Università di Palermo


  • IDINTOS (IDrovolante INnovativo TOScano), Regione Toscana, 2011-2013.
  • PARSIFAL (Prandtlplane ARchitecture for the Sustainable Improvement of Future AirpLanes), EU H02020 (ID: GA 723149), 2017-2020.
  • PROSIB Project (PROpulsione e Sistemi IBridi per velivoli ad ala fissa e rotante), MIUR (ID: ARS01 00297), 2018-2021

Main publications:

  • Frediani, A. et al. “The PrandtlPlane Configuration: Overview on Possible Applications to Civil Aviation”. Springer Optimization and Its Applications, vol 66, 2012. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-2435-2_8
  • Frediani, A. et al. “Design of a prototype of light amphibious PrandtlPlane“, AIAA SciTech Forum, 2015. doi: 10.2514/6.2015-0700
  • Picchi Scardaoni, M. et al. “WAGNER: a new code for parametrical structural study of fuselages of civil transport aircraft”. Aerotecnica Missili Spazio; 96: 136–147. Springer 2017. doi: 10.1007/BF03404748
  • Cipolla, V. et al. “Conceptual design of a box wing aircraft for the air transport of the future”, AIAA Aviation Forum 2018. doi: 10.2514/6.2018-3660
  • Abu Salem, K. et al. “Aerodynamic design and preliminary optimization of a commercial PrandtlPlane aircraft”, EUCASS Conference, 2019. doi: 10.13009/EUCASS2019-741
  • Cipolla, V. et al. “Preliminary stability analysis methods for PrandtlPlane aircraft in subsonic conditions”. AEAT 91-3, 2019. doi: 10.1108/AEAT-12-2017-0284