The lifting-line theory is widely used for obtaining aerodynamic performance results in various engineering fields, from aircraft conceptual design to wind-power generation. Many different models were proposed, each tailored for a specific purpose, thus having a rather narrow applicability range. This paper presents a general lifting-line model capable of accurately analysing a wide range of engineering problems involving lifting surfaces, both steady-state and unsteady cases. It can be used for lifting surface with sweep, dihedral, twisting and winglets and includes features such as non-linear viscous corrections, unsteady and quasi-steady force calculation, stable wake relaxation through fictitious time marching and wake stretching and dissipation. Possible applications include wing design for low-speed aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, the study of high-frequency avian flapping flight or wind-turbine blade design and analysis. Several validation studies are performed, both steady-state and unsteady, the method showing good agreement with experimental data or numerical results obtained with more computationally expensive methods.