Tuesday, July 05, 2022
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Welcome to WakeNet Europe!

This website is dedicated to the topic of aircraft wake turbulence and has been created as part of the WakeNet3-Europe Coordination Action project. After having served the community for more than four years between April 2008 and July 2012, the WakeNet3-Europe project is now terminated.

As of today, no project in succession has been funded. But despite the funded project no longer being active, this website is kept alive in order to keep publicly available the results of WakeNet3-Europe as well as earlier European WakeNets. In addition, the website is still being maintained with information about important events when they occur, although only at irregular intervals.


The Coordination Action WakeNet3-Europe had been funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Program (FP7) and succeeded the previous European Thematic Networks on aircraft wake turbulence, called “WakeNet” and “WakeNet2-Europe”. It cooperated with other WakeNets worldwide (e.g. WakeNet-US, WakeNet-Russia).

WakeNet3-Europe promoted multidisciplinary exchange between scientific and operational specialists in the field of wake vortex turbulence, in order to enable the development of a shared view on how to address capacity limitations caused by wake turbulence separations and how to maintain air transport safety with regard to wake vortex encounters despite increasing air traffic density and increasing diversity of the operational aircraft fleet.


Safe separation distances prescribed to avoid potential hazards by aircraft encountering a preceding aircraft’s wake vortex are limiting airport capacity growth. Increasing airport congestion, the increasing diversity of aircraft types (e.g. the advent of Very Light Jets), the introduction of new large aircraft and the availability of new technologies have promoted extensive wake vortex investigations in recent years. These involve researchers, operational users (airports, pilots, airlines), air navigation service providers, regulators as well as aircraft and equipment manufacturers. The activities of the last decade have progressed from physical understanding of the wake vortex phenomenon itself to the development of new operational concepts and rulemaking. Airbus has been strongly involved in many of these research projects and has undertaken an unprecedented amount of flight tests (including several hundred deliberate wake vortex encounters) in order to help identify safe separation distances for its new Airbus A380. Other companies and research establishments have considerably helped to improve wake vortex detection and characterization by remote sensing as well as to better understand wake vortex physics, especially the meteorological influences on wake vortex behaviour and lifetime. See the section on EC-funded wake vortex research projects to gain an impression.

Today, wake vortex studies primarily relate to the following two questions:
(1) How can today’s rigid and fragmented systems of wake turbulence separation requirements be replaced by more flexible and even dynamic separation methods?
(2) How can safety and capacity be increased with the help of ground-based and airborne advisory and detection systems?

To answer these questions and to gain the expected benefits, the new concepts must be technically validated and proven as safe and operationally suitable. Like previous Thematic Networks, WakeNet3-Europe provided a forum for the necessary communications, building a bridge between wake vortex research and operations, in order to get scientifically-funded agreement among stakeholders to help making new technologies usable for the air transport system. For this, WakeNet3-Europe organised annual workshops open to all interested parties, establish focused Task Groups and links to existing local stakeholder groups, professional groups, other projects and to US and other non-EU activities. In addition to its annual workshops several Specific Workshops addressing key aspects in depth have been conducted and resulted in relevant material that can also be found on this website.

I hope you will find the content of this website helpful to your needs and that you will frequently revisit this site for information and news.

If you have questions or remarks concerning the WakeNet3-Europe project or wish to comment on the content of this website please contact me at coordinator@wakenet.eu.
This website is maintained by the Institute of Flight Guidance of TU Braunschweig. To report broken links or other technical problems encountered when visiting this website please contact the webmaster at webmaster@wakenet.eu.

Yours sincerely,

Andreas Reinke

Airbus Operations SAS
WakeNet3-Europe Coordinator