The Enhanced Fidelity Transonic Wing (EFT)

Lead Participant: Airbus Operations Limited


Civil aircraft wing design faces a growing challenge to improve the fidelity of performance predictions. The drive towards high performance relies on a combination of small refinements. Even where step changes are sought the success of a design can depend on the mitigation of complex aerodynamic risks.
1) Wing maximum lift (CLmax) is fundamental in determining aircraft low speed performance. An improvement of the CLmax estimation uncertainty to ±5 lift counts is targeted, requiring a step change in the physical understanding and the modelling approach.
2) The transonic drag rise characteristics of modern aircraft wings are becoming so carefully tuned that highly precise predictions are vital to correctly capture fundamental design trades. An improvement in the confidence of exotic drag rise behaviour prediction to within 1% aircraft drag is targeted.
3) As wing designs move to more efficient and flexible structures an accurate knowledge of the wing shape in all conditions is a pre-requisite for the realisation of the above aims. The benefit of improved accuracy in wing aeroelastic assessment is expected to be of the order of 1% in aircraft drag. An increase in the use of theoretical methods for aerodynamic loads prediction throughout the aircraft envelope is sought to enable higher levels of structural and design optimisation.
The overall objective is to significantly enhance the performance assessment fidelity of transonic wings, reducing risk and uncertainty in the aircraft design process, and thus enabling aircraft to be driven to higher performance standards.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Airbus Operations Limited, BRISTOL £6,316,753 £ 3,158,378


Airbus Group Limited, LONDON £935,136 £ 467,568
University of Bristol, United Kingdom £537,982 £ 537,982
City, University of London, United Kingdom £308,356 £ 308,356
Aircraft Research Association Limited, BEDS £599,999 £ 599,999
The Russell Group of Universities, CAMBRIDGE £391,236 £ 391,236
Cfms Services Limited, BRISTOL £652,996 £ 652,996
Cranfield University, United Kingdom £568,926 £ 568,926


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