The aerospace sector is one of the most important drivers of economic growth, influencing practically every area from defense to transportation. This industry, a paragon of innovation, is in a continual state of evolution, as it is consistently engaged with cutting-edge technologies, novel concepts, and significant breakthroughs.
Over the last decade, automation, digitization, and improved maintenance have driven the aerospace industry. However, it has experienced much disruption in the past few years.
Some disruptions were the result of the changes in the policies of the federal government, whereas others were due to new innovations and technologies. From the integration of artificial intelligence in aircraft to sustainable aviation initiatives, the industry is witnessing a paradigm shift.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few trends that will help the aerospace sector advance by leaps and bounds in the upcoming years.
Aviation emissions contribute significantly to climate change. The latest findings reveal that aviation accounts for 4% of human-induced global warming. Airplanes emit 100 times more carbon dioxide per hour than a train or a shared bus ride.
This growing concern around climate change has forced the aerospace sector to reduce its carbon footprint. The aviation industry, led by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), assented to strive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 in 2021. It also established objectives to minimize greenhouse gas, waste, water, and energy emissions.
Technological innovations are helping the aviation sector achieve its goals. Biofuel, also known as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), is being used to power aircraft. Renewable resources like biomass or waste are used to create this biofuel. Scientists estimate that this liquid fuel can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80%.
In other news, commercial airplane maker Airbus revealed that its first zero-emission hydrogen commercial aircraft is likely to enter the market by 2035. With hydrogen as the primary source of power, this aircraft will produce zero emissions.
#2 Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, was primarily limited to peripheral parts of aerospace where mechanical pressure is low. However, the advancements in 3D printing have made it among the most significant technologies in aerospace manufacturing.
It’s because of this technology that aerospace manufacturers are able to produce components using fewer materials compared to traditionally manufactured parts. 3D printing has also made it easy for aviation companies to manufacture parts on demand, increasing the efficiency of the supply chain.
Manufacturers are also able to deliver lighter yet stronger alternatives to parts made of conventional materials. Consequently, this lowers emissions and fuel consumption while optimizing long-term optimization costs.
#3 Turnkey Assembly
Turnkey assembly is revolutionizing the aerospace industry by providing comprehensive manufacturing solutions to manufacturers.
In the aerospace industry, turnkey solutions are becoming vital because they allow companies to deliver seamless and integrated solutions to their clients. This assembly solution streamlines the manufacturing process by offering a broad range of services, from design to assembly and testing.
The most obvious advantage of turnkey assembly is that it spares aviation companies from redirecting their attention from critical operations to hammering out assembly specifics. This eliminates the hassle of obtaining the best component pricing, navigating the cumbersome procurement process, and then relying on an internal team to assemble components perfectly.
L&T Precision’s metal assembly solutions offer full turnkey mechanical assembly solutions. Welding, riveting, spot welding, aerospace electrobonding, and hardware insertion are all available in their dedicated assembly area. Rest assured that the product is assembled accurately before proceeding to the finishing process.
As turnkey assembly eliminates the need to engage multiple service providers and suppliers, it reduces coordination, procurement, and management costs.
#4 Artificial Intelligence
The rapid evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) has had a great impact on a variety of industries, and the aerospace sector is no different. With the adoption of AI, the aerospace industry has been able to automate several repetitive manual processes. The possibility of errors is also reduced to a great extent.
The adoption of AI in the aerospace industry is all set to transform the way airlines and airports control air traffic. Based on weather data from sensors, AI can suggest alternative routes to pilots, making air travel safe.
AI-based assistants, in conjunction with smart cameras, can also identify airplanes as they leave the runway and send real-time alerts to flight attendants.
Besides, AI algorithms can predict failures, detect anomalies, and trigger maintenance activities by analyzing massive volumes of sensor data from aircraft components and systems. This predictive maintenance helps reduce downtime and optimize performance.
When Swiss International Air Lines, colloquially known as SWISS, turned to AI to boost efficiency, it was able to optimize better than half the flights in its network. Reportedly, it saved $5.4 million in 2022, which equals 5 million Swiss francs. Lufthansa also reported a similar experience.
The aerospace industry is embracing climate-conscious technologies to minimize its carbon footprint.
Advancements in AI have ushered in a new era of productivity and efficiency, while turnkey assembly has streamlined the manufacturing processes. Additive printing is helping aerospace manufacturers create necessary components rapidly for space exploration, air travel, and military defense.
Other trends that are all set to transform the aerospace industry are satellite communication, supersonic flights, and digitization.
As a piece of advice, implement these technologies in your business as early as possible. That way, you will gain a competitive edge over others. Also, keep yourself updated with the latest trends, as it will help you become more efficient and innovative.