Abstract In order to reduce skin friction drag, an active laminarisation method is developed. Laminar-turbulent boundary layer transition caused by Tollmien–Schlichting (TS) waves is delayed by attenuation of these convective instabilities. An actively driven compliant wall is integrated as part of a wing’s surface. Different configurations of piezo-based actuators are combined with an array of sensitive surface flow sensors. Wall-normal actuation as well as inclined wall displacement are investigated. Together with a realtime-control strategy, transition onset is shifted downstream by six average TS-wave lengths. Using the example of flow velocity, the influence of variable flow conditions on TS-damping rates was investigated. Besides, the boundary layer flow downstream of the active wall area as well as required wall deflections and the global damping effect on skin friction are presented in this paper.