The aerothermal analysis of a hypersonic vehicle is of fundamental interest for designing its configuration. The convection coefficients and wall temperatures due to aerodynamic heating to critical surfaces of a hypersonic vehicle are obtained computationally. Convective heat flux to the swept-back leading edge (SBLE) surface is obtained by splitting the velocity vector along and perpendicular to the surface, and thereby appropriately using the two-dimensional (2D) stagnation region and flat plate heat fluxes together. The main purpose of this work is to propose aerothermal concepts for configuration design of a swept leading edge hypersonic vehicle. Results obtained from these computational analyses reveal the existence of temperature and drag-minimized sweepback, temperature and heat flux-variations-minimized sweepback, and most importantly, the thermally benign sharp SBLE effect. There exists an optimum sweepback angle that is different from drag and temperature-minimized sweepback. These aerothermal concepts are also potential candidates for consideration in the configuration design of hypersonic vehicles. (C) 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.