Company Profile

The European Transonic Windtunnel GmbH is an international organisation whose principal objective is to advance European aerospace research and development. The non-profit company with limited liability according to German law, was established on 28th April 1988 on the basis of an intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding by four European Community Member States:

The company operates, maintains and further develops a high Reynolds number wind tunnel, the most advanced aerodynamic test facility in the world.

Construction started in 1990 and was completed in 1993. Since 1995, after commissioning and calibration, ETW is in full operation and has proved to meet the design specifications in many different test campaigns.

ETW provides high quality wind-tunnel test data at actual flight Reynolds numbers of modern transport aircraft and is open to clients from all over the world.

ETW is centrally located in the middle of Europe, close to the international Cologne/Bonn airport, and has excellent connections to the European rail and motorway systems, which is a significant advantage for all clients and contractors.

European researchers and engineers harness ETW’s capabilities for advancing aeronautical science into aircraft innovation by accessing real-flight conditions in this cutting edge ground-test laboratory.

ETW is the worldwide leading wind tunnel for testing aircraft at real flight conditions. Aircraft performance and their flight envelope limits can be accurately determined with unique quality at ETW long before flight testing of a first prototype. This enables significant reduction in the technical and economic risks associated with the development of new aircraft. Manufacturers from all over the world take advantage of the exceptional features of this high-tech facility enhancing the performance, economic viability, and environmental friendliness of their future aircraft.

The organization and staffing of the company are designed to operate ETW efficiently and to provide ETW’s clients with all required services in relation to wind tunnel testing.

The official company language is English, however, communication with the ETW GmbH is also possible in French and German.

ETW is dedicated to conduct its business fairly, impartially, in an ethical and proper manner, in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Thus, it has issued a Code of Conduct, which outlines the behaviour to be complied with by the entire ETW team. In case of questions or concerns, you may want to contact ETW's Compliance Moderator via (please request an SMIME public key to enable encrypted communication in case of need).

The management system of ETW GmbH has been approved by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Ltd. to the ISO 9001:2015 standard. The scope of this approval is applicable to wind tunnel aerodynamic testing of customers' models, particularly in the high Reynolds Number Regime.


Legal Aspects

Four European countries, France, Germany, Great Britain and The Netherlands, having worked together for almost 10 years on the planning of ETW, finally joined forces in 1988 to establish the ETW GmbH under the umbrella of an intergovernmental arrangement. The national aerospace research establishments or government offices are the associates and nominate the members of the ETW Supervisory Board.

Germany: DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt)
Great Britain: DSTL/DTI/DBT (Department for Business & Trade) and QQ (QinetiQ)
The Netherlands:  Royal NLR (Stichting Koninklijk Nederlands Lucht- en Ruimtevaartcentrum)

In the ETW company, the British and the German Associates hold capital shares of 45% each and the Dutch has shares of 10%.

The Assembly of Associates is the top decisionmaking body of the company. The members are representatives of the ETW Associates. The Supervisory Board supervises the lawfulness, expedience and economic efficiency of management and counsels the Managing Director. It makes decisions on important research-related and financial issues of the company. The Managing Director conducts the business affairs of ETW GmbH in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement of the Associates and the Statutes of the company, and reports to the Supervisory Board. Two Advisory Committees (AC1/AC2) and a Technical Committee (ETC) advise the Supervisory Board and the management on matters related to the operation and further development, on legal and administrative matters, and on technical matters of ETW.


The non-profit company is exempt from any non-recoverable national taxes or duties as well as from any non-recoverable local taxes.