Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic
Increasing military activities worldwide to drive helicopter blades market over 2019-2025
Escalating demand for passenger and military helicopters, along with rising defense spending worldwide is anticipated to drive helicopter blades market outlook. Rotor blades are vital parts for any helicopter as they can significantly impact crucial flight parameters like cruise speed, climb rate, and payload capacity. Well-designed, high-performance rotor blades can offer improved controllability, especially during operations like rescue missions, air medical services, executive endeavors and more.
U.S. Helicopter Blades Market, By Blade Location, 2018 & 2025, (USD Million)
Rising production of short-range passenger helicopters coupled with growing demand for air taxi services worldwide will propel helicopter blades industry share. For instance, in 2019, the Airbus-backed on-demand helicopter service Voom announced plans to add more locations to its app-based air taxi service.
Moreover, increasing deployment of helicopter hailing services will offer commendable growth proceeds to the helicopter maintenance & repair sector. In 2019, leading military, corporate and regional aircraft maintenance firm, First Aviation Services Inc. announced acquisition of renowned helicopter rotor blade repair company Aviation Blade Services, Inc. to expand its market reach. Driven by such initiatives, helicopter blades market is slated to garner significant revenues over the forecast period.
Based on material, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) segment is estimated to account for a considerable share in helicopter blades market in the future. Demands for CFRP can be attributed to its key characteristics like lower weight, higher stiffness, and superior strength to weight ratio. Manufacturers are also increasingly developing carbon-fiber blades to minimize production cost and improve operational margins.
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For instance, in 2018, rotor-blade maker Van Horn Aviation exhibited its FAA-certified composite main and tail rotor blades, made from carbon-fiber skins & spars, foam cores, and replaceable abrasion strips for the Bell 206L Long Ranger helicopter, claiming service life of the composite blades to be two to four times more than their metal counterparts.
Rising technological advancements in the blade manufacturing industry and growing adoption of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic will further bolster helicopter blades industry size. In 2019, a joint venture program between Thermwood and Bell developed the world’s largest 3D printed autoclave tool for helicopters which are estimated to produce helicopter blade molds that meet Bell’s tooling requirements.
Helicopter blades market may to accrue significant returns from the military sector. Increase in defense spending and rising military budget worldwide will positively influence industry trends. Rise in number of advanced combat helicopters orders is expected to supplement market share. According to credible reports, around 500 helicopters are expected to be delivered to eastern European countries by 2030, creating opportunities for U.S. manufacturers. While, in 2019, the German government released its tender for military helicopter which includes procurement of 45-60 choppers by 2023 and beyond.
The Russian Federation has also motivated many nations to increase military spending on defense helicopters. In 2019, the Russian defense ministry awarded 46 contracts worth over $16 billion to local industry, included orders for 98 Mil Mi-28NM attack helicopters that are anticipated to be completed in 2021. Investments such as these in the military sector will in turn augment helicopter blade market size over 2019-2025.
North America helicopter blade market is anticipated to add impetus to the global revenue share, primarily due to the presence of key helicopter manufacturers like Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, Lockheed Martin and more. Increasing prominence of app-based, on-demand helicopter hailing services will supplement regional market growth.
Rising defense budget across the region will positively influence industry share. For instance, the Pentagon FY 2020 budget proposes allocation of $790 million for R&D in Future Vertical Lift (FVL) military helicopters. The budget also includes nearly $1.7 billion for 73 U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters by Sikorsky.
Development of advanced manufacturing processes along with rising helicopter production worldwide will drive helicopter blades market growth. Use of FAA certified helicopter blades will ensure enhanced safety and reliability to operators. The development of 3D printed blade technologies will also enhance the market outlook.
Moreover, long-term contracts with helicopter manufacturers and increasing investment in R&D to develop advanced combat helicopters will improve industry share. According to Global Market Insights, Inc., helicopter blades market size is estimated to surpass US $685 million by 2025.
Author Name : Mateen Dalal