The University of New South Wales aerospace engineering group maintains an advanced project capability that results in the project design of up to six aircraft per year. This not only acts as an educational tool, but also maintains a skill base that is utilized by the industry, defense organizations and regulators. We have recently incorporated flight simulation into this design process at an early stage of the projects. Almost as soon as the very basic parameters are defined and an initial shape generated in the design software ‘CATIA’, a model is built in the simulation software ‘X-PLANE’. This allows the development of the flight characteristics to be monitored as the design progresses. It also allows engineering solutions to be compared and their effect on the flight characteristics explored. For example the engine size or elevator size can be modified on the model producing an instant measure of flight profile effects. We are still in the process of applying flight simulation to advanced project design. The results to date are promising and we would expect further improvements as the technology advances.