Research Facilities

Strategic and Key Aeronautic Research Infrastructures in Europe

AirTN NextGen Facts and Figures

Unique outstanding facilities for Research and Technology Development in the aviation sector have been developed in Europe. Relevant European Stakeholders grow leading edge capabilities to operate effectively and efficiently such facilities.

AirTN Nextgen created a catalogue for the Strategic and Key research facilities for aviation supporting the European Research Area. The catalogue is a unique inventory and is based on the information, provided by stakeholders on a voluntary basis, collected via a questionnaire widely disseminated in the European aviation community; thus some research facilities are not included due to the missed answers to the questionnaire.

This catalogue provides an overview of the European facilities and provides a basis for coordinating further development to achieve the goals set in FlightPath2050.

The AirTN Nextgen classification refers to the financial criteria defined in ACARE for strategic and key facilities:

  • Strategic facilities: at least 100 M€ investments. 13 strategic research infrastructures are identified in the catalogue.
  • Key facilities: between 10 M€ and 100 M€ investments. Because of the large range of investments, the facilities are distributed in the following cost intervals: between 10 M€ and 30 M€, between 30 M€ and 60 M€, and between 60 M€ and 100 M€. 73 key research infrastructures are identified in the catalogue.
  • Common facilities: less than 10 M€ investments. This type of facilities is not included in the catalogue.


Locations of Strategic or Key Aeronautic Research Infrastructures of the catalogue by country.

The research infrastructures in the catalogue can be classified as follow: Wind Tunnel, Propulsion Bench, Others, Structures, Flight test bed, Materials, Simulator, and Supercomputers.

The 86 Strategic and Key facilities listed in the catalogue represent an amount of investments higher than 3 B€.


Repartition of the 86 Strategic and Key facilities by types.


Repartition of Strategic and Key facilities by countries number.


Repartition of Strategic and Key facilities by countries minimal value of the total investments.

Further information on the catalogue

The Brochure Strategic and Key Aeronautic Research Infrastructures in Europe is downloadable.

The detailed descriptions of 78 Strategic and Key facilities are available.

A concise overview of tabular characteristics of 78 strategic and key facilities is shown in the following table, which is also downloadable as (searchable) Excel file.

Type InfrastructureCountryLocationNameYear Construction
Or Refurbishment
Flight Test BedGermanyOberpfaffenhofenAircraft Gulfstream G 550 HALO2005DLROliver Brieger (
Flight Test BedGermanyOberpfaffenhofenAircraft Dassault Falcon 20E-51975DLROliver Brieger (
Flight Test BedGermanyBraunschweigACT_FHS Experimentals incl. Ground Station2000DLRMartin Gestwa (
Flight Test BedGermanyBraunschweigAircraft Airbus A320 ATRA2011-2012DLROliver Brieger (
Flight Test BedGermanyGöttingenAircraft Dornier Do 728 Cabin2007DLRDr. Johannes Bosbach (
Flight Test BedNetherlandsAmsterdamFligh test facilities,
1990NLRR. Ruigrok et alBased on contractNLR Internal + SpecificKeyPublic
MaterialIrelandLimerickMSSI1998University of LimerickTel: +353-61-213127?NationalKey
MaterialIrelandLimerickIrish Centre
for Composite Research
2010University of LimerickTel: +353-61-234164National And InternationalKey
MaterialNetherlandsFlevopolderFacilities for mechanics1989NLRJan van TwickContractWorlwideKeyPublic
MaterialSpainCerdanyola Del VallèsASCAMM1989-2011ASCAMMA. Lagrana10-30 M€ContractKeyPrivate
MaterialUKBristolNCC (national composite
2010/2011NCC?+44 (0)117 928 8173ContractNo Support (Eccept Contract)Key
OthersFranceModaneONERA-TURMA2005ONERAJ.P. FoucaultContractNational, Local
OthersFrancePalaiseauONERA-BATHIRE (turbine bench)2004ONERAA.CochetContract And
Free Access
OthersGermanyGöttingenNext Generation Turbine Test Facility NG-Turb2008-2014DLRFrank Kocian (
OthersPolandZielonkaCold Flow Turbine Test Facility "Polonia Aero"2013 - 2015Avio AeroMonika So?tys (
OthersSpainTorrejón De ArdozOATS1996MoD/INTAagnoncm@inta.esContractEuropeanKeyPublic
OthersSpainMazagon HuelvaCEDEA1966INTACol. Parejo BravoContractInternationalKeyPublic/Private
OthersSpainSevilleUAV platform2009Andalusia fondationwww.catec.aerpoContractAllKeyPrivate
OthersUKAnsty ParkMTC (manufacturing
tech centre)
2011MTC linited?ContractNoneKey
Propulsion BenchAustriaGrazA-8010
Combustion facilities
1990Graz Univ.Dr E. GöttlichContractNational, EuropeanKeyPublic
Propulsion BenchBelgiumRhode-Saint-GenèseCT-31990VKITony ArtsContractPublic/PrivateKeyPublic
Propulsion BenchBelgiumRhode-Saint-GenèseS-1/C2000VKITony ArtsContract
And Research
Propulsion BenchFrancePalaiseauONERA-ATD1946; 1998ONERAA. CochetContractAllKeyPublic
Propulsion BenchFrancePalaiseauONERA-LAERTE1991ONERAA. CochetContractAllKeyPublic
Propulsion BenchFrancePalaiseauONERA-M11999ONERACh. GuinContractAllKeyPublic
Propulsion BenchFranceSaclayA061990DGAF. Le Mézo>100 M€AllStrategicPublic
Propulsion BenchFranceSaclayM11991-1995DGAF. Le Mézo>100 M€StrategicPublic
Propulsion BenchFranceSaclayR62004DGAF. Le Mézo>100 M€StrategicPublic
Propulsion BenchFranceSaclayS11970DGAF. Le Mézo>100 M€StrategicPublic
Propulsion BenchGermanyNeubiberg/MunichJet engine Test Faci.2010University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Instit. Jet Prop.Dr. R. NiehuisContract/MtuNationalKeyPrivate ?
Propulsion BenchGermanyBremenGDTF1962
And Continuously Refurbished
Airbus Operations
Klaus Muthreich
, Michael Huhnd
Free For Airbus
Private, AirbusKeyPrivate
Propulsion BenchSpainTorrejón De ArdozTurbojet test facility1994INTAGonzalo Moreno
SimulatorFranceToulouseONERA-IESTA2008ONERAS. Aubry10-30 M€ContractKeyPublic
SimulatorNetherlandsAmsterdamReal time ATC Research1992 (Radar) 2009 (Tower)NLRM. Van ApeldornContractWorlwideKeyPublic
SimulatorNetherlandsDelftSIMONA2000Un. DelftOlaf StroosmaContractNational, European,
Private (Industry)
SimulatorNetherlandsAmsterdamHPS, MUST, GRACE1990NLRHarrie BohnenContractAllKeyPublic
StructuresCzech RepublicPragueDynamic and Static test Labs1987VZLUJosef Jironc, jironc@vzlu.czNational, EuropeanKeyPublic
StructuresGermanyStuttgartDrop Tower1986DLRDr. Nathalie Toso (
StructuresGermanyStuttgartGas Guns Test Facility2005DLRDr. Nathalie Toso (
StructuresItalyCapuaLarge Aerospace Structures Impact Laboratory (LISA)2002CIRAIng. Umberto Mercurio (tel. +39 0823 623355,, Purchase OrderNationalKeyPublic
StructuresNetherlandsFlevopolderManufacturing facility for
composites research
1991NLRBert ThuisContract(Private (Internal)Key
StructuresNetherlandsFlevopoldertest facility for construction
and material
1910?NLRP. ArendsenContract(Private (Internal)Key
StructuresSpainGetafe (Madrid)FIDAMC2009EADS/CDTI/RegionalF. Ruy del HoyoContractAllKeyPrivate
SupercomputersFranceToulouseCERFACS/BULL Cluster?CERFACSN. MonnierCerfacs
SupercomputersGermanyBraunschweigHPC C²A²S²E2013DLR/ T-Systems SfRAndreas Ernst (
Wind TunnelAustriaGrazA-8010- Facilities1990Graz Univ.Dr E. GöttlichContractEuropean; PrivateKeyPublic Military
Wind TunnelAustriaViennaClimatic WT2003RTA
rail tec Arsenal
H. FerschitzContractAllKeyPublic Military
Wind TunnelBelgiumRhode-Saint-GenèseL-11960VKIP. PlanquartContract
And Research
Wind TunnelFranceModaneONERA-S1MA1950ONERAJ.P. FoucaultContractAllStrategicPublic
Wind TunnelFranceModaneONERA-S2MA1950ONERAJ.P. FoucaultContractAllStrategicPublic
Wind TunnelFranceLe Fauga MauzacONERA-F11974ONERAJ.P. FoucaultContractAllStrategicPublic
Wind TunnelFranceModaneONERA-S3MA1950ONERAJ.P. FoucaultContractAllKeyPublic
Wind TunnelFranceModaneONERA-S4B1970ONERAJ.P. FoucaultContractAllKeyPublic
Wind TunnelFranceModaneONERA-BD21970ONERAJ.P. FoucaultContractAllKeyPublic
Wind TunnelFranceSaclayPAG Icing Wind Tunnel2007DGAF. Le MézoContractKeyPublic
Wind TunnelFranceSaclayONERA-CEPRA 191975ONERAJ.P. FoucaultContractNational And Regional
Wind TunnelFranceMeudonONERA-S3Ch1986ONERAB. ChanetzContractNational , European
Wind TunnelFranceMeudonONERA-R21964ONERAB. ChanetzContractNational , European
Wind TunnelFranceMeudonONERA-S5Ch1951ONERAB. ChanetzContractNational , European
Wind TunnelGermanyCologneETW (Transonic wind tunnel)1988Fr, UK, De, NlDr. Guido Dietz (
Wind TunnelGermanyNeubiberg/MunichHSCWT1985University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Instit. Jet Prop.Dr. R. NiehuisContractAllKeyPublic
Wind TunnelGermanyBremenLSWT1970AirbusKlaus MuthreichContractInternalKeyPrivate
Wind TunnelGermanyCologneDNW-KKK (Cryogenic wind tunnel)DNW foundationHenri Vos []ContractAllKeyFoundation
Wind TunnelGermanyBraunschweigDNW-NWB (Low-speed wind tunnel)2010DNW foundationHenri Vos []ContractAllKeyFoundation
Wind TunnelGermanyGöttingenDNW-TWG (Transonic wind tunnel)1964; 2010DNW foundationHenri Vos []ContractAllKeyFoundation
Wind TunnelItalyCapuaIcing Wind Tunnel (IWT)2002CIRAIng. Antonio Ragni (tel. +39 0823 623526,, Purchase OrderNationalKeyPublic
Wind TunnelItalyMilanoGVPM2000Politecnico di MilanoG. Gibertini10-30 M€ContractKeyPublic
Wind TunnelNetherlandsMarknesseDNW-LLF (Large low-speed facility)1980DNW foundationHenri Vos []ContractAllStrategicFoundation
Wind TunnelNetherlandsAmsterdamDNW-HST (Transonic wind tunnel)1996DNW foundationHenri Vos []ContractAllKeyFoundation
Wind TunnelNetherlandsMarknesseDNW-LST (Low-speed wind tunnel)1986DNW foundationHenri Vos []ContractAllKeyFoundation
Wind TunnelNetherlandsAmsterdamDNW-SST (Supersonic wind tunnel)1964;1999DNW foundationHenri Vos []ContractAllKeyFoundation
Wind TunnelSwedenBromma (Stockholm)Comp. TF2006STARCSM. JernlundContract
And Research
Private (Internal.)KeyPrivate
Wind TunnelSwedenBromma (Stockholm)HYP5001965STARCSM. JernlundContract
And Research
Private (Internal.)KeyPrivate
Wind TunnelSwedenBromma (Stockholm)STARCS T15001989STARCSM. JernlundContract
And Research
Private (Internal.)KeyPrivate
Wind TunnelSwedenBromma (Stockholm)STARCS TVM5001968STARCSM. JernlundContract
And Research
Private (Internal.)KeyPrivate
Wind TunnelSwitzerlandEmmen Large Wind Tunnel Emmen
1946; 2001, 2007RUAG Aviationandreas.hauser@ruag.comContractPrivateKeyPrivate
Wind TunnelUKFarnboroughLSWTQinetiQIan SmithContractNone (Private?)StrategicPrivate
Wind TunnelUKBedfordTWTARAContractNone (Private?)StrategicPrivate

Previous workshops and reports

Independent Expert Group (IEG)

In September 2012 the European Commission and ACARE tasked an Independent Expert Group (IEG) to identify, with the help of ERA-Net AirTN, how the EU can play a major role in establishing a European Strategic Aviation RDT&E infrastructure and in securing its sustained availability. Findings were presented in the report “Towards a European Strategic Aviation Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation Infrastructure“.

Workshop on Aviation Research Infrastructure

The AirTN-ACARE-EU workshop on “Aeronautics Research & Testing Infrastructures – Key for Europe’s Competitiveness in Aviation” was held on 25-26 February 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.

AirTN-NextGen Events

The “AirTN-NextGen Seminar: Towards virtual certification: Key challenges in the field of simulation capabilities for European Research Infrastructures.” was held on 25 September 2014 in Bonn, Germany.

The “AirTN-NextGen Workshop on Virtual testing, towards virtual certification” was held on 25 May 2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.