Clients' comments

ETW is “the best wind tunnel in the world” and the “most capable facility that we have ever used”; it “allows us to bridge the gap between wind tunnel and flight”

The Leading Quality of Wind Tunnel Testing

... for Airplane Manufacturers and Aeronautical Researchers from all over the World.

The European Transonic Windtunnel, ETW, in Cologne, Germany, is a European research organisation, which operates the most modern aeronautical wind tunnel infrastructure in the world; a unique test facility for research and development of new aircraft. Aircraft manufacturers from all over the world use the special features of this high technology facility to enhance the economic and environmental friendliness of their products whilst attaining the targeted climate protection goals.

European researchers and engineers regularly harness ETW’s capabilities for advancing aeronautical science into aircraft innovation by accessing real-flight conditions in this cutting edge ground-test laboratory. ETW complements the capabilities of DNW-LLF and ONERA-S1MA, and is acknowledged to be a strategic European wind tunnel according to ACARE (Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research and Innovation in Europe).

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ETW Performance Envelope

Unique capabilities

Full-scale flight Reynolds number

The cruise-flight drag and the high-lift performance of an aircraft is significantly affected by the complicated interaction of Mach number effects in the outer flow field with Reynolds number effects in the boundary layer close to the wing surface. This has significant consequences on the required engine power and the economy of the aircraft. Therefore, reliably accurate performance, loads and handling quality predictions require to achieve flight-relevant Reynolds numbers to be achieved in wind tunnel tests. ETW meets this requirement.

Independent Variation of Reynolds number and aeroelastic loading

A notable advantage of the cryogenic concept applied to a pressurized wind tunnel is that Mach number and Reynolds number as well as dynamic pressure can each be varied, keeping the others constant so that their impact can be studied independently, i.e. compressibility, friction and deformation effects. When exploiting the physical limits in aircraft design, aeroelasticity plays a major role besides aerodynamic optimisation. ETW enables the investigation and balancing of aeroelastic and Reynolds number effects.

High productivity & costs efficiency

ETW has realized a modular model cart concept for concurrent preparation and execution of test campaigns in order to achieve high productivity and economy of the wind tunnel tests. To ensure the highest service quality at best cost efficiency, ETW's ISO 9001 Quality Management System includes features to strive for continuous improvements. The underlying Kaizen strategy involves everyone in the organization, and aims to maximize value for money. Thus, cost drivers such as nitrogen and electricity consumption are controlled accordingly.

Client confidentiality

An important aspect to every Client is the security and confidentiality of their test; how safe from prying eyes is the model, the test programme, and the test results. All ETW employees have signed confidentiality agreements and are regularly made aware of their responsibilities in this respect. Throughout every step in the design of the buildings, the wind tunnel, the control systems, the data acquisition and data reduction systems, ETW has taken security concerns fully into account.