Major innovations and trends in the aerospace industry
Corporate Vice President Global Head of Aviation, Space, Rail
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The Aerospace industry has been around for more than 100 years and yet it is still one of the sectors which is constantly developing new technologies. In the last few years, the industry was mainly driven by digitization, automation, and improved maintenance. Like most other industries aerospace has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis and as yet we are still to discover by how much and to what extent it will be affected in the long run. Nevertheless, there are also major trends and innovations that will be shaping the industry or are already doing so. From automation, to new solutions for materials and even urban air mobility. There are several exciting trends that will not only shape the industry, but daily life for everyone.
When it comes to materials for aircraft - the trend is to make them lightweight. This can be done enhanced chemical solutions for bonding and protection of composite structures, the development of new materials linked to changed guidelines as well as through 3D printing. Regulations might change the qualities materials need to offer. For example, the Fire-Retardancy requirements have now changed to Fire Retardancy, Smoke Density and Toxicity (FST) requirements. FST requirements are more demanding than the standard FR requirements. We see a growing priority of items like Hex-chrome free, or non-chrome solutions in bonding and corrosion protection or anti-microbial/anti-viral lasting solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Changing the use of materials won’t usually lead to a visible change when it comes to the look of a plane from the outside, but it will support the development of planes on the inside.
In my opinion, the aerospace industry is facing some major changes and very exciting times. The ones I have outlined here are only three of the main trends. It will be interesting to see how automation will shape the industry and how long it will take for urban air mobility to be part of our daily lives.