Aerospace Technology

Saxony possesses considerable industrial capacities and research potentials in the aerospace industry with a specific focus in the Dresden, Freiberg, and Chemnitz regions.


Around 160 companies and research institutions with more than 7,000 employees generate an annual turnover of about 1.4 billion euros in Saxony’s aerospace technology sector. 

The biggest company of the branch in Saxony is the Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW) – a company of the ST Aerospace and Airbus Groups. EFW is an acknowledged expert when it comes to lightweight components for modern Airbus models and, at the same time, also the market leader in freighter conversion. 

The supplier landscape, which consists primarily of small and medium sized enterprises, is a reliable partner of the big aircraft manufacturers and participates in major international projects such as the A350 program. 

Core competences:

  • Freighter conversion
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Lightweight construction, materials technology
  • Electronics, testing and sensor technology
  • Systems for water supply and wastewater disposal
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Production technologies, tool making

Logo Netzwerk Kompetenzzentrum Luft- und Raumfahrttechnik Sachsen / Thüringen e. V. (LRT)

Logo Netzwerk Kompetenzzentrum Luft- und Raumfahrttechnik Sachsen / Thüringen e. V. (LRT)

Competence Center Aerospace and Space Technology Saxony / Thuringia e. V. (LRT)

The Competence Center Aerospace and Space Technology Saxony / Thuringia e. V. (LRT) pursues the objective of significantly advancing the development of the regional aerospace industry and stabilizing and strengthening the competences in this sector. The branch association cooperates closely with German and international networks – for example, the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) – and is a member of the international “European Aerospace Cluster Partnership” (EACP). The network provides its more than 30 members numerous opportunities to represent themselves and exchange experiences with one another in form of, for example, company visits, technology meetings, workshops, exhibitions, and network events. 

Hörsaal der Technischen Universität Dresden

Source: Dresden University of Technology / Karsten Eckold

University Research

Dresden University of Technology has profound R&D competences in the aviation and space sector. 

In close cooperation with aircraft manufacturers, the Chair of Aircraft Engineering at the Institute of Aerospace Engineering (ILR) researches innovations and investigates practical problems posed by aircraft construction. The Chair for Space Systems conducts fundamental research in engineering sciences on novel space propulsion systems. Another focus of the scientific work is on the development and testing of technologies for space missions and subsystems of spacecraft. The aspect of transferring technology into earth-based applications plays an important role in this. The university’s Postgraduate Program, financed by Airbus Defence and Space, focuses on concepts for future earth observation and interplanetary missions. 

The Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) develops load-adapted lightweight structures and systems. The spectrum ranges from fundamental research all the way to the concrete innovation development of demonstrators for industrial partners. Initiated by the aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, the University Technology Center Dresden “Lightweight Structures and Materials and Robust Design” (UTC) was established in 2006. The research alliance, which consists of five institutes, generates impulses for lightweight construction systems and multi-material design in aviation and promotes technology transfer from science into applications at Rolls-Royce. 

At the Institute of Fluid Mechanics (ISM), scientists at three professorial chairs work on such topics as, for example, fluid mechanics, turbomachines and flight propulsion as well as magnetofluiddynamics, measuring and automation technology. 

Aktorplattform für die Luft- und Raumfahrt, Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS Dresden

Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS

Non-University Research

The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Chemnitz is one of the leading institutes for application-oriented R&D in the production engineering sector. The service portfolio for the aerospace industry ranges from automation solutions for the assembly of large-scale aircraft components all the way to the development of intelligent components. 

The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS Dresden conducts applied research on high-performance ceramics. The research topics include material development, production processes and prototyping as well as material diagnosis and testing. In this context, the IKTS has already successfully implemented projects, for example, on behalf of the MTU Aero Engines AG, Airbus Operations, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). 

The key activities of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS Dresden include the joining of metallic / nonmetallic materials, of intermetallic compounds as well as of CFRP / metal composites for structural and turbine components. In addition, the Fraunhofer IWS conducts research on the additive manufacturing of complex-shaped 3D components, the wear and tear protection of turbine components, and the thermal insulation of rocket engines. The institute also works on test devices for the characterization of the mechanical properties as well as the thermal shock and thermal cyclic resistance of advanced coatings. 

The Saxon Textile Research Institute (STFI) Chemnitz has developed special boxes for storing air cargo and baggage which consist of high-strength and at the same time flexible aramid fabrics. Tests have demonstrated that exploding suitcase bombs cause virtually no damage if the baggage items are stored in such a “fly bag”. Another focus of the STFI is lightweight construction; in particular, reinforcement structures for plastics.  

Your Contact Person

Dr. André Günther
Industry, Innovation & Marketing
Phone: +49 (351) 2138-242 Fax: +49 (351) 2138-109

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