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Increased aircraft production is expected to drive the global aerostructures market. Rising global population and demand for passenger and cargo air services, increased flight volume, industrial expansion, technological advancements, and rising personal income are factors contributing to growing aircraft production. Several developing economies have witnessed significant increase in wealth and population, and it is expected that demand for aircraft will increase in these countries. Further, many nations are investing heavily in the defence sector, seeking to modernize old aircraft and acquire new ones. Such investment is likely to boost the market. The various aircraft segments include civil and military aircraft, regional and business jets, jet fighters, freighters and helicopters. North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific are expected to be key markets. Developing economies such as China, India, and Russia are likely to be significant market influencers.
As a result of the growing aerospace industry (civil as well as defence), several leading companies are witnessing an increase in operations and capacities. In turn, companies are looking to provide advanced, sustainable and innovative solutions to reduce costs, decrease material weight, and minimize carbon emissions. For example, in 2021, Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services AS (KAMS), a subsidiary of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, signed agreements with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics worth 122 million NOK to supply parts for the F-35 Lightning II program. The agreement included production and assembly of horizontal and vertical tails for over 50 F-35 aircraft.
In 2019, Collins Aerospace enhanced maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for the U.S. Air Force with a new Enterprise Partnering Agreement providing USAF an efficient approach to access Collins Aerospace’s extensive military portfolio and enabling the company’s six Strategic Business Units - Avionics, Aerostructures, Interiors, Mechanical Systems, Mission Systems and Power & Controls - to implement agreements with all USAF Air Logistics Complex units.
In 2021, Collins Aerospace acquired Dutch Thermoplastic Components to deliver lighter, economical and sustainable aircraft structures. Through the acquisition, Collins sought to increase the use of advanced thermoplastics to make aircraft lighter and more fuel-efficient. Thermoplastics are lighter as compared to standard aircraft material and warrant fewer fasteners which further decreases weight and required maintenance. In 2020, Collins and Boom Supersonic announced a strategic collaboration to enhance performance and sustainability for the world’s fastest commercial aircraft Overture by advancing nacelle technology and developing inlet and exhaust systems to enable fuel-burn reduction and front-line acoustics for a cleaner and quieter supersonic flight. This was intended to be achieved through lightweight aerostructures and variable nacelle geometry.
In 2022, FACC launched an employment and investment initiative, seeking to hire over 200 new staff members at its Upper Austrian locations with focus on IT, digitalization, innovation management, and automation. The investment initiative was worth EUR 150 million. With an upswing in the aviation industry, FACC seeks to focus on a long-term growth strategy. In one of the new projects secured by FACC, Airbus has commissioned the company with the production of empennage components for the A220; FACC is the only supplier of the rudder and elevator for the A220.
In 2022, GKN Aerospace was named a supplier on Gulfstream’s new G800 and G400 business jets which would carry sustainable lightweight aerostructures. GKN would employ its capability in the design and manufacture of business jet empennages and aerostructures on the advanced aircraft. The latest thermoplastic technology would be applied to the rudder and elevators from the empennage, reducing at least 10 percent of the total weight as compared to traditional materials, in turn reducing carbon emissions.
In 2021, Airbus reiterated its intent to shape a stronger aerostructures assembly value chain across its industrial system, emphasizing aerostructures assembly as core to the company’s business. During a European Works Council (SE-WC) meeting, Airbus presented plans to form two integrated aerostructures assembly companies at the core of its industrial system to reinforce its value stream management and prepare the company for the long and short-term future.
Key Findings of the Report:
Market Analysis by Component, Material, Platform, Aircraft, End-use and Region:
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