Press Releases

Sep 30, 2014

Access to the World’s Leading Advanced Wind Tunnels Matters for Science

More than 100 scientists from 17 nations made use of the transnational access to DNW-LLF, ETW, and ONERA-S1 provided by the EU project ESWIRP.
Category: Research
Posted by: GD

(c) DLR e.V.
Adjusting PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) for testing the NASA CRM at ETW. Hi-Res [9.9MB]. Photo: © DLR.

The ESWIRP project has been funded by the European Framework Programme 7 to support the integration of and access to research infrastructure of pan-European interest. It has significantly enhanced the interoperability of 3 key world-class aeronautical wind tunnels, and harmonised, improved and optimised the scientific access conditions thereto: DNW-LLF, ETW and ONERA S1MA, which are recognised e.g. by ACARE (Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe) as strategic infrastructures critical for the competitiveness of the European aeronautical research and industry. The coordinated ESWIRP approach amongst the operators now provides a sound basis for accelerating the transfer from science into innovations in Europe towards resource efficient aviation that respects the environment. The project ended on 30 September 2014, and a strong indicator of its success is already visible in terms of the scientific impact it is generating.

A central element of the project, besides networking and joint research activities, has been the transnational access (TNA), which has been provided to 4 consortia with a total of more than 100 scientists from 17 different nations including 1 associated and 3 international cooperation partner countries as well as USA and Japan: The DNW-LLF access covered the topics of advanced rotor simulation both for aircraft propulsion as well as energy production. The TNA entry at ETW gave further insight in the development and downstream propagation of wing wakes featuring separated flow as well as their resulting effects on the empennage. Such tests at realistic flight conditions are of high interest to the worldwide aircraft industry due to the heavy unsteadiness of separated wing flow at the limits of the flight regime that can cause severe excitation of the empennage. At ONERA-S1MA, advantage was taken of the huge dimensions of the facility to provide experimental turbulence data with a spatial and temporal resolution as well as accuracy in terms of statistical convergence quality, which are both unprecedented: A grid with a diameter of 10 m was used to generate the turbulence. Its characteristics were measured downstream in the test section, and the data enable scientists to validate numerical simulation methods and enhance computational models.

So far the TNA tests attracted 7 doctorate theses, and more are expected. Besides graduates, students also had the opportunity to join these international research tests: a call was sent to European universities inviting students to attend the TNA test entries. More students assisted in the evaluation of the testing results, of which a substantial number of the TNA test results were and will be used for bachelor and master theses.

The official conclusion of the ESWIRP project in September 2014 does not mean that the induced international cooperation will come to an end. The ESWIRP consortium and associated scientific TNA consortia will further exploit and disseminate their results, e.g. at international symposia such as the AIAA SciTech 2015 (USA) or the CEAS Air & Space Conference 2015 (Netherlands). Based on the papers at the CEAS conference, the CEAS Aeronautical Journal will release a special issue on the ESWIRP advancements at DNW-LLF, ETW and ONERA S1MA, and the scientific progress resulting thereof. The ongoing dissemination efforts are expected to attract further interest and to result in new insights in the respective fields of expertise.

Please find a PDF version of the full press release here.

(c) ETW
The busy ETW Control Room during the ESWIRP TNA test.
Photo: © DLR.

(c) ETW
The “New-Mexico” wind turbine TNA test at the DNW-LLF test section.
Photo: © DNW.

(c) ETW
A 10 m diameter grid was used as a turbulence generator in the ONERA-S1MA.
Photo: © ONERA.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no 227816.





ETW - Pushes the Limits
Wind tunnels, using scaled down aircraft models, are the major source of aerodynamic design data for new aircraft projects. Wind tunnels are indispensable tools for aerodynamic research and aircraft development; they complement and validate flow simulation methods on the most powerful computers.

ETW, the European Transonic Wind Tunnel, was designed and constructed by the four European countries France, Germany, Great Britain and The Netherlands. It is operated based on a non-profit policy by the ETW GmbH, founded in 1988. Its location in Cologne, Germany, is right in the middle of Europe.

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 reductions 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.

ETW – Erweitert Horizonte
Aerodynamische Entwurfsdaten für neue Flugzeugprojekte werden zu einem großen Teil aus Windkanaluntersuchungen an maßstäblich verkleinerten Flugzeugmodellen gewonnen. Windkanäle sind unverzichtbare Werkzeuge sowohl für die Strömungsforschung als auch für die Flugzeugentwicklung; sie ergänzen und validieren Verfahren zur Strömungssimulation auf modernsten Hochleistungsrechnern.

Der Europäische Transschall-Windkanal ETW ist eine transnationale Forschungseinrichtung in Köln. Er wurde von den vier Staaten Frankreich, Deutschland, Großbritannien und den Niederlanden entwickelt und gebaut. Betrieben wird er von der ETW GmbH, die als eigenständiges Non-Profit-Unternehmen 1988 gegründet wurde.

Der ETW erlaubt europäischen Forschenden und Ingenieur:innen, tatsächliche Flugzustände unter Laborbedingungen am Boden darzustellen, um wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse zu erarbeiten und in Luftfahrtinnovationen zu überführen.

Der ETW ist der weltweit führende Windkanal, in dem Luftfahrzeuge unter wirklichkeitsgetreuen Flugbedingungen getestet werden können. Lange bevor der erste Prototyp für einen Flugtest zur Verfügung steht, können im ETW die Leistungsfähigkeit und die Flugbereichsgrenzen eines Neuentwurfs genauestens und mit einzigartiger Qualität bestimmt werden. Dies reduziert erheblich die technischen und wirtschaftlichen Risiken, die mit der Entwicklung neuer Luftfahrzeuge verbunden sind. Hersteller aus aller Welt nutzen die außergewöhnlichen Möglichkeiten dieser Hightech-Einrichtung, um die Leistungsfähigkeit, die Wirtschaftlichkeit und die Umweltfreundlichkeit ihrer zukünftigen Produkte nachhaltig zu verbessern.