our approach

Clear goal in sight.


The fundamental idea.


Today’s status of the HLFC technology is well advanced but needs an integrated approach including aerodynamic, structural, manufacturing and systems design in such a way that a serial production is on the horizon and is expected to generate a business case for the aircraft manufacturer and operator alike.

In this project we plan to achieve and validate solutions for the manifold challenges in three fields, namely,

  • To fulfil HLFC-Wing related performance requirements by a simple suction system

  • To realize this suction system through an appropriate material mix, i.e. solutions provided by structural technology

  • To find manufacturing approaches that are similar to serial production at business case enabling cost levels.

The concept of the HLFC-WIN project is to conduct a multi-physics based, iterative wing design with the support of a wind tunnel campaign which results in a large-scale demonstrator. The main design characteristics of the HLFC wing regarding production aspects, functionality and maintainability of the HLFC system will be proven by this ground demonstrator.

The multi-disciplinary design approach will turn the long-known aerodynamic efficiency potential of laminar flow control into an economically beneficiary wing fulfilling the strict light-weight and low-cost production demands, the required tight surface tolerances, as well as the requests for accessibility and maintainability during operation.

Within this project, a complete validation and verification (V&V) process will be performed conducting all numerical and experimental required work.


The V&V process pursues firstly a verification of the individual technology bricks as well as the optimal aerodynamic HLFC-design using wind tunnel tests and secondly a validation of the overall HLFC-wing design using the large ground-based demonstrator (GBD) with all systems integrated. This results in a successful Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 on integrated component level. Due to the complexity of the developed systems and the overall design, several small-scale demonstrators will be required.

A multi-physics approach usually relies on multiple physical models or multiple simultaneous physical phenomena to redefine problems outside normal boundaries and to reach solutions based on a new understanding of complex situations. With respect to our project the main drivers of a HLFC wing design task are well understood and our target is to achieve the best overall performance in accordance with a large set of our multi-disciplinary constraints.

The work will be shared by the consortium partners based on the respective expertise of each participant:

  • Responsibility for the HLFC wing design

  • Responsibility for the Ground Based Demonstrator (GBD)

  • Contribution to the structural concept verification

  • Assessment of the net benefit of the HLFC technology

  • Responsibility for the wind tunnel activities

  • Overall drag benefit assessment

  • Responsibility for the WIPS system

“ At the end of Clean Sky 2 in 2023, we will have the knowledge and the tools to say to the industry - We are ready .”

— Dr. Miguel Angel Castillo (VP Aernnova)


The Organizational Ambition.


The organizational ambition for AERNNOVA is:

  • To become the airframe preferred supplier for HLFC structures.

  • To further mature the “one shot” metal- CFRP hybrid manufacturing process and de-risk lack of technology readiness into commercial production.


The organizational ambition for ONERA is:

  • To assess the aerodynamic efficiency of a large-scale HLFC wing model fully representative for the Rebar and passive suction flap requirements at transonic and flight Reynolds numbers.

  • To pursue the maturation of ONERA numerical tools for HLFC Wing design and aerostructure, WIPS design (gives support to SONACA), surface tolerances criteria for laminarity, innovative measurement techniques.

The organizational ambition for DLR is:

  • To find and experimentally confirmed structural solutions that respect the surface quality requirements, comply with series production constraints, including low maintenance costs and lowest possible weight.

  • To estimate the overall net benefit of the HLFC technology applied to a long-range aircraft wing.

The organizational ambition for SONACA is:

  • To design the highest performing (shielding, high-lift, cruise), low risk and optimized (low weight, low cost, low space allocation) Krueger Panel & Kinematics for the HLFC wings.

  • To define a CS-25 certification-compliant Krueger system qualification & justification philosophy for further TRL6 maturity.

  • To test the critical mechanical characteristics of a representative Krueger & Kinematics system. 

  • To define a CS-25 certification-compliant Wing Ice Protection System for HLFC Wings qualification & justification philosophy for further TRL6 maturity.