Dynamic solutions for a fluid world™

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Where Did the Name "Arrow" Come From?

A frequently asked question at our training seminars - usually during a break or over lunch - is how we came up with the name "Arrow". More completely, the product is named AFT Arrow™ and it is considered by many as the world's leading compressible pipe flow modeling software product.

There is a similar story behind the naming of AFT Fathom™ and I told that story several months ago in my post entitled Where did the Name Fathom Come From?

The story behind the Arrow name is rooted in the beginnings of Applied Flow Technology as a company. So let's go back to 1995.

AFT Fathom was released in early 1994. While interest was immediately strong, we also received many requests for a version which performed compressible flow modeling in pipe networks. When I started Applied Flow Technology in 1993 I already had in mind to develop a product for compressible pipe flow. So work on product #2 began in 1994 soon after AFT Fathom 1.0 was released. However, I found out first hand what all fluid flow engineers already know - gas flow calculations are much harder than liquid flow. Especially in pipe networks.

Work on a compressible flow product was set aside in late 1994 in order to make some improvements to AFT Fathom, and version 2 of AFT Fathom was released in early 1995. Then attention was turned back to compressible flow.

But what should AFT's second software product be called?

I remember coming up with twenty different names to choose from. I can't remember hardly any of them but I do remember one of them being "Stratus". So AFT Arrow might have become AFT Stratus if I had made that rather misguided choice in 1995.

But then a moment of fate intervened.

I was working heavy hours in those days and my wife decided to take our young children to visit grandparents and I took them to the airport to send them on their way. On the way back home - AFT's office was in the basement of our home in those days - I was driving on the highway and passed an RV (a "recreatioanl vehicle" for international readers - it is like a mobile vacation home).

The brand name for the RV displayed in large letters on its back was "Arrow". And like an arrow which pierced me from out of the blue, I immediately realized AFT's second product would be called "AFT Arrow".

As challenging as it was to find a name for AFT Arrow, developing the product was even more challenging. I did not want to settle for a simplified ideal-gas, adiabatic-type of solution methodology to which other software companies have resorted. I wanted the whole thing - heat transfer, real gas modeling and fully capable sonically choked modeling capability. This took considerable effort and research, including the development of many highly innovative and proprietary solution techniques. In the end AFT Arrow was commercially released in October, 1995. Orders surged immediately because of the market awareness already created by AFT Fathom.

Today we are proud to offer AFT Arrow as the most accurate and capable compressible pipe flow software available on the market.

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Friday, 22 November 2019