Looking forward: Aerospace industry trends
The aerospace industry is always evolving and adapting to consumer habits and driving innovation through new developments. Major aircraft manufacturers are already looking ahead to plan for the next shift in the industry, from pushing the boundaries of technology to overhauling entire fleets of aircraft.
All of this innovation within the industry has encouraged a lot of growth and expansion, which is only good news for aviation and the aerospace sector. To determine how this industry is going to look moving forward, it’s important to identify trends within aerospace. This article is going to look at some key trends to watch in the aerospace industry, from tech innovations to overhauling older aircraft fleets.
The push for technological innovation
Efficiency is a major talking point in the aerospace industry looking forward, with streamlined interior cabin developments and advanced avionics being used to make for more efficient flights. Other innovations, such as noise-reduction of aircraft, appear to be on the horizon for much of the industry. All of these integrations will make for a safer, more comfortable experience in the skies for passengers.
New-age materials such as composites and advanced manufacturing developments will also be shaping trends in the near future for aerospace. This, along with the implementation of new electrical systems, could re-shape how aircraft are designed and manufactured, which could alter the current supply chain dramatically.
Improvements in repairs and fleet overhauls
Looking towards the next generation of aircraft, it is apparent that improvements have been made across the board, from materials and components to the systems and electronics used. These changes will no doubt create new opportunities for the industry, but there will also be challenges for the maintenance, repair and overhaul sector to contend with. Switching from mainly aluminium frames to composite materials is a legitimate concern that has yet to be addressed.
Although composite material has been used in the past, the scale of its use is going to increase dramatically. By their design, metallic aircraft crumple and bend if there is ever a collision, but composite materials don’t. Although this might seem like a positive, it is actually more difficult to assess the damage on a composite aircraft than a metallic one. The visual inspection of dents is possible with aluminium because it bends, but you need to use ultrasonic scanning to detect damage in composite materials. What this means is that the repair sector will need to adapt and invest in new equipment and training.
The maintenance sector is set to undergo a number of changes as a result of the push for digitisation. As the technology found on aircraft becomes more complex, technicians and maintenance workers will need to become more adept at troubleshooting and diagnostics work.
Thankfully, digitisation can also lend this sector a helping hand in a number of innovative ways. Embracing virtual reality training can help technicians step into a digital aircraft and learn how to repair and replace components virtually. Other inherent benefits of switching to digital include ditching paper instruction booklets for cloud-based ones. This makes it easier to access information while working and cuts back on paper consumption.