ETW is the world-leading aeronautical wind tunnel, in which true flight conditions can be replicated. Since this is done in a ground lab at model scale with highly repeatable conditions, ETW offers unique value to researchers. It provides flight-relevant Reynolds numbers and allows separating variation of Reynolds number and structural loading (fluid-structure interaction) at take-off, landing and cruise flight conditions. Various standard techniques are operational to measure forces, pressures, temperatures, model deformations, or flow-field data by PIV or TSP. Analysis and investigation of unsteady phenomena is possible. PSP and acoustic techniques have been successfully demonstrated, and their transfer into productive testing are work in progress.

It is widely acknowledged that cutting edge ETW capabilities particularly play an essential role in securing the competitiveness of the European aerospace industry and science. Thus, ETW contributes to various European and national funded research programmes. These activities aim on the one hand at advancing ETW´s testing capabilities and the way how to make best use of it. On the other hand ETW is used as a tool to achieve scientific progress. Public funding, e.g. in the EU FP7 project ESWIRP, provides an opportunity to further open this strategic facility to foster transnational research access.

ETW is part of the European MERIL inventory, which includes the most excellent research infrastructures of 'more-than-national' relevance in Europe across all scientific domains. It is also registered at CatRIS by the European Science Foundation ESF and RIsources by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG (German Research Foundation), which includes research infrastructures offering recognised, established scientific and technological facilities or services, permitting free or regulate access through a transparent selection process based on scientific quality and project feasibility, and which are managed according to sustainable principles and have a long-term perspective.

ETW allows researchers and engineers from all over the world to turn aeronautical science into aircraft innovation by accessing real-flight conditions in a cutting edge ground-test laboratory. You may learn about the details of research at or from using ETW through conference and journal papers.

The major national and European research projects with ETW involvement are listed below:

AWATAR 2024- Advanced Wing MATuration And integration
KoMeTD 2024- Development of a combined optical surface temperature and pressure measurement system
Entwicklung eines kombinierten optischen Messsystems für Temperatur und Druck auf Oberflächen (abstract in German)
QuiS-2-0 2023- Quantification and intelligent characterisation of flows by sensitive paint and combined laser excitation
Quantifizierung und intelligente Charakterisierung von Strömungen mittels Sensitiver Farbe und kombinierter Laseranregung (abstract in German)
ULTIMATE 2022- ULtra high efficienT wIng and MoveAbles for nexT gEneration aircraft
VirEnfREI 2021- Virtual design environment for real, efficient engineering services
Virtuelle Entwurfsumgebung für Reale, Effiziente Ingenieurleistungen (abstract in German)
FOR 2895 2020- Unsteady flow and interaction phenomena at High Speed Stall conditions
KoMMoD 2018-2022 Composite-based multifunctional models for application in cryogenic wind tunnels
OFRS 2018-2023 Optical flow sensor for cryogenic conditions using Filtered Rayleigh Scattering
LoCaRe 2018-2022 Localisation and Characterisation of Flight Relevant Noise Sources on High Lift Systems
Innovative Experimental Investigations on Natural Laminar Flow Control at Flight Reynoldsnumbers
PRODIGE 2018-2020 PRediction of aerOdynamics and hinge moment loaDs at hIgh Mach and fliGht REynolds number
Advanced wind tunnel tests for new virtual certification methodologies
BinCola 2018-2020 Evaluation of the Benefits of innovative Conzepts of a laminar nacelle and a laminar HTP installed on a business jet configuration
Video: Learn more on InfraRed (IR) and Carbon-NanoTube (CNT) heated Temperature Sensitive Paint (TSP) measurements
CryoMMS 2016-2020 Cryogenic Model Movables (abstract in German)
ReSK 2016-2019 Reynolds-Number Effects & Flow Control (abstract in German)
ISL-SMA 2016-2019 Innovative Structures for Aircraft & Aircraft Models by SMA (abstract in German)
CryoPSP 2014-2017 Cryogenic PSP Testing (abstract in German)
NLF-WingHiPer 2014-2015 NLF Wing High Speed Performance Test
Video: Learn more on deformation measurements
HiLamBiz 2013-2015 High-Speed Wind-Tunnel Test of Laminar wing Bizjet
Video: Learn more on Temperature Sensitive Paint (TSP) measurements
HiReLF 2012 Transonic High Reynolds Number Testing of a Large Laminar Wing Half Model
Video: Learn more on laminar testing
HINVA 2010-2014 High-Lift In-Flight Validation
ALSA 2010-2013 Acoustic Localisation of Boundary-Layer Flow Separation
ASDMAD 2010 Aero-Structural Dynamics Methods for Airplane Design
ESWIRP 2009-2014 European Strategic Wind Tunnels Improved Research Potential
ITS 2009-2014 Innovative Concepts for Engine Simulation
DESIREH 2009-2013 Design, Simulation & Flight Reynolds Number Testing for Advanced High-Lift Solutions
CRYO-PIV 2007-2010 Cryogenic Particle-Image Velocimetry
HIRENASD 2006 High Reynolds Number Aerostructural Dynamics
TELFONA 2005-2009 Testing for Laminar Flow on New Aircraft
FLIRET 2005-2008 Flight Reynolds Number Testing
EWA 2004-2010 European Windtunnel Association
REMFI 2004-2007 Rear Fuselage & Empennage Flow Investigation
EUROLIFT II 2004-2007 European High Lift Programme II
M-DAW 2002-2005 Modelling & Design of Advanced Wing Tip Devices
EUROLIFT 2000-2003 European High Lift Programme
HIRETT 2000-2003 High Reynolds number tools and techniques for civil transport aircraft design


Science & Innovation

Initially designed as a product development tool for the aerospace industry, ETW today also serves as a research infrastructure. So it contributes both: converting research funding into knowledge as well as generating return on this investment in the scientific progress by innovation.

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. Besides, national and European research activities advance cryogenic testing capabilities, and improve the competitiveness of the facility. E.g. remarkable progress has been gained in reliable performance prediction of future “green” configurations with significant fuel savings compared with today’s aircraft.