The use of computational fluid dynamics for external aerodynamic applications has been a key tool for aircraft design in the modern aerospace industry. In the last decades, large-eddy simulation with near-wall modeling (wall-modeled LES) has gained momentum as a cost-effective approach for both scientific research and industrial applications. In this talk, we discuss current challenges of wall-modeled LES to become a design tool for the aerospace industry. We focus first on the working principles and performance of wall-modeled LES for external aerodynamic applications, with emphasis on realistic commercial aircrafts. In particular, we examine the computational cost to predict mean flow features and forces for a given degree of accuracy using theory and numerical simulations of the NASA Juncture Flow. It is shown that current models might underperform in out-of-equilibrium conditions and we provide some tentative corrections based machine learning techniques.