The Institute of Aeroelasticity

Main buliding DLR-Institute of Aeroelasticity in Göttingen

The DLR Institute of Aeroelasticity is a leading research institute in the topics of aeroelasticity, structural dynamics, unsteady aerodynamics and dynamic loads. The employees in Göttingen focus on theoretical-numerical and experimental investigations dedicated to aircraft, helicopters, turbomachinery and wind turbines applications. Various large-scale DLR facilities are operated for fundamental and application-oriented experiments on the ground, in wind tunnels and in flight tests.

The discipline of Aeroelasticity comprises physical phenomena, which occur on structures in an airflow, when the aerodynamic forces interact with the elastomechanical forces in the structure.

Aeroelastic effects occur for example on plants or on buildings in free airflow. For aircraft however, aeroelastic stability is of exceptional importance: due to the necessary extreme lightweight design, aircraft have relatively flexible structures. As a consequence, aeroelastic deformations and oscillations can cause severe problems for the aircraft behavior.

Image video: Institute of Aeroelasticity
The video gets to the bottom of why aircraft wings, although elastic are safe.

In the institute multidisciplinary research activities and industrial contracts are performed with the aim to reliably predict aeroelastic phenomena and to ensure therefore operational safety of new developments. Experimental and numerical methods are developed and used for these analyses.

In the last decade the research work was focussed on nonlinearities in the aeroelastic behaviour of transport aircraft. Other important research fields concern the Aeroelasticity of turbomachines and rotorcrafts.


Already the Wright brothers were confronted with aeroelastic problems: they found solutions more by intuition than by identification of the physical mechanisms.

In Göttingen, scientific research is done since the 1920s already: publications of L. Prandtl, W. Birnbaum, H. Wagner, H.G. Küssner, H. Blenk and P. Jordan found international attraction and can be seen therefore as important milestones in the progress of Aircraft Aeroelasticity.

Founded in 1957, the former AVA department for Aeroelasticity became a separate institute after integration of the AVA into the DFVLR. It is the only research institute of the kind in Europe.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lorenz Tichy

Head of Institute
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Aeroelasticity
Bunsenstr. 10, 37073 Göttingen