The aerospace industry was affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on flights, especially internationally. As China still battles new surges, improvements will only take place fully later in 2022. However, exciting trends are occurring in the industry. Here are the top five.
Aerospace and Defense (A&D) companies are making the most of digital thread and smart manufacturing to improve efficiencies in supply and production. This new system provides an end-to-end process across a product’s life cycle. The trend will take into account the increasing demands of customers for faster delivery and particular preferences.
System Software and Safety
More of the aerospace trends focus on system software and safety. You can split the costs of a Boeing 747 into 50% for hardware and 50% for software. It is the latter that is at the heart of the latest trend. For example, planes currently approach a runway in a series of steps. Actual people and systems monitor safety at ever stage of landing.
The software aims to reduce this time by two minutes with a continuous descent. The saving of this approach is a whopping 100 gallons of gas on each flight, which all adds up across the industry.
Safety is at the center of the aerospace industry. This is determined by quality, with an as9100 audit being the key measure. LedgeInc is one example of a company that assists aerospace businesses to improve profitability through optimized operations and quality management systems. They aim to reduce risk and ensure industry compliance with measures such as an as9100 internal audit, making flying safer.
Zero Fuel Flights
Many other aerospace trends are looking at ways to cut costs and meet decarbonization of the aerospace industry. One way is to look towards hydrogen fuel. The development of zero-fuel flights investigates three designs using an adapted gas turbine engine – a turbofan, a turboprop engine, and a blended-wing design. All of these look at novel ways to store and utilize hydrogen. Expect to see the results of this trend by 2035. Not only will these new fuels be more efficient, but they can help aerospace related businesses save on gas costs.
Electric and Hybrid Engines
The aim of many trends is for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint through less fuel consumption and emissions while increasing the performance of their aircraft. One of the answers to this is to create electric and hybrid propulsion systems. Reducing noise pollution over populated areas is another end goal of these specific aerospace trends. These innovations target materials, software, batteries, cables, inverters, and control electronics. Simulations can be ran to test designs.
Autonomous Flight Systems
The hunt for autonomous flight systems includes the exploration of drones and space vehicles. Of all the aerospace trends, this one definitely stands out. Probes have been sent to space but are vulnerable to anything unusual that they detect and the length of time it takes for a response from their base stations.
On earth, probes would probably be unmanned or have a single pilot navigating with a new design for cockpits. Automation is the most important aspect. This will require closed-loop simulations providing feedback from algorithms, control software, and sensors.
Advantages are a reduction in accidents, less congestion, and increased speeds. This trend is quite futuristic as it requires multi-physics simulation and virtual realities to test these new vehicles and their responses to various situations. Despite the challenges involved, the race is on to reach the market with the first automated flight capable vehicles.
Popular Aerospace Trends – Summary
As you can see, there are many aerospace trends in development. These range from digital thread to enhancements in plane security and safety. There are also strides to make jet fuel more environmentally friendly, and even to introduce electric and hybrid engines to the next generation of planes. Lastly, autonomous flight systems are also in development.
These are just a few of the recent aerospace trends – hope it was interesting!
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