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Engineering and Models Department

Onera has a long term involvement in providing the aerospace industry with high-level technical assistance and services worldwide on many major programs. The Wind Tunnel Division (GMT) of Onera offers a complete range of testing services including model design, balance design and calibration, engineering support for design and manufacture of test hardware, ground testing services. A powerful responsive integrated team has been developed with expertise, which is unrivalled in Europe.
The Engineering and Models Department of Onera (DRIM) is responsible for designing and manufacturing models. DRIM has complete control of its projects and is fully responsible in providing the requested services. DRIM supplies ISO 9001 certified, design and fabrication services within the frame of concurrent engineering procedures (available on request). This arrangement provides guarantees on:

  • A clear identification of responsibilities for each task.
  • An identification of the most critical design or manufacturing issues at a very early stage.
  • An efficient process, both time-wise and money-wise.

Within the concurrent engineering procedures, the designers will work in unison with the workshops. This will ensure a harmony between design features, and internal manufacturing capabilities. The lead design engineer will report on a very regular basis to the Project Manager, who will consolidate all information related to the schedule.

The following design features (but not limited to) will be thoroughly investigated during a model D&M process:

  • Model quality and necessary accuracy based on the required shape and surface finish.
  • Model structural strength.
  • Adequacy to test matrix (pressure, Mach number..).
  • Most appropriate model support.
  • Model loadings to derive the balance capacities if needed.
  • Housing of instrumentation and pressure equipment within the model.
  • Model manufacturing within proven standards
  • Efficient assembly and disassembly.


Within GMT, the wind tunnel departments and the engineering department work in close coordination. They mutually benefit from the expertise of the designers on one side, and of the wind tunnel project engineers on the other side. Having these assets within the same organization is extremely beneficial to the overall continual improvement of quality, to the achieving of objectives in a timely manner, and finally, to the minimizing of costs.

DRIM has a project management approach of its contracts. Reporting to the project manager, necessary expediting actions and meetings are all in hands of the engineering department. The designers will identify risks and suggest risk abatement measures when found necessary. Planning and scheduling with the associated progress measurement report system is deemed as essential to correctly monitor a model D&M contract.

Quality insurance and standards

The engineering division has QA ISO 9001 certification.

CAD is standardized around CATIA V5 and SAMCEF for finite element analysis. Capability to import/export CAD files with IGES or STEP standard exchange format.