Flight Control & Operations

4 major factors influencing more electric aircraft market size in 2019 and beyond

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Growing environmental concerns and a gradual rise in global air traffic have underscored the significance of more electric aircraft market, with aerospace companies working to improve fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs. By utilizing electric power for every non-propulsive application, particularly to replace conventional power sources like mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic, the more electric aircraft (MEA) concept has enabled considerable optimization of airplane performance.

U.S. More Electric Aircraft Market, By System, 2018 & 2025, (USD Million)
U.S. More Electric Aircraft Market, By System, 2018 & 2025, (USD Million)

Over the past several years, airplane OEMs and parts suppliers have collaborated to develop and integrate numerous electrical components, from flight control and power distribution solutions to air pressurization and conditioning systems. MEA industry has witnessed continuous investments being directed towards research and development efforts, ensuring the most advanced aircraft parts are made available for new planes being assembled. Adopting electrical systems allows for minimizing movable parts in a carrier and improve its reliability, while trimming down life cycle costs.

Enlisted below are four prominent factors fueling the growth of more electric aircraft industry size:

  1. More electric aircraft for sustainability: Essentially, the remarkable weight reduction achieved by replacing a large number parts with smaller electrical systems has primarily reinforced more electric aircraft industry size. Air traffic is responsible for just around 2% of global CO2 emissions every year, but this number will only grow as the tourism sector and international trade expands. Since only modifying engine and the body of aircrafts will not be sufficient to mitigate the emission risks, electrification signifies a crucial opportunity to achieve sustainability targets.

The International Civil Aviation Organization had set a goal of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2020, going on to reduce carbon emissions by 50% in 2050 as compared to 2005 statistics. Undoubtedly, more electric aircraft market size will observe a tremendous rise the years to come due to the product’s vital role in alleviating global warming concerns.

  1. Increased demand for new airplanes: The consistent increase in air traffic has encouraged airlines to expand their domestic and international fleets, amplifying the number of purchase orders that manufacturers like Boeing, Airbus and Embraer have received. Reportedly, there were nearly 212,900 general aviation airplanes in the U.S. in 2018, with deals for hundreds of news planes already being signed between manufacturers and airline companies.

For instance, Boeing alone had bagged a total of 893 orders worth US$143.7 billion in December 2018, implying the continuous expansion of the aerospace sector and the vast potential existing for more electric aircraft market. Apparently, a surge in defense expenditure by developed as well as emerging economies has also influenced the demand for new aircrafts, representing a critical application area for implementing novel MEA systems.

  1. Developments in more electric aircraft industry: Boeing could be considered as a pioneer in MEA with regard to commercial airplanes, with its 787 Dreamliner leading the way in replacing traditional components like pneumatic bleed-air systems with electric motor-based compressors. The manufacturer claims that using electrical power leads to reduced power extraction from engines by up to 35%, where pneumatic systems diverted unnecessary or excess power from engines and lowered their trust capacity.

Another key player in more electric aircraft industry, Honeywell Aerospace, has developed an electric power distribution system for accurately managing and protecting electrical loads in an airplane. It enhances the safety, fuel efficiency and reliability of the aircrafts, along with cutting operational expenses. Separately in the defense sector, Lockheed Martin has demonstrated the potential of MEA through its F-35 Lightning fighter, which is rapidly gaining traction amongst military agencies worldwide.

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  1. Future prospects for more electric aircraft: It is believed that key technological changes taking place in large commercial aircrafts will pave the way for reliable all-electric planes, which would need to have considerably lower weights and minimum dependency on mechanical or pneumatic systems. In 2018, the U.K. government committed £255 million (US$323.5 million) towards developing greener aircraft technologies. Several airplane makers, including Airbus, would benefit from these funds and work to build hybrid-electric and electric propulsion systems, energy storages devices and other components.

Increasing the power of electrical systems in aircrafts is the main driver boosting more electric aircraft market size, indicating that tomorrow’s planes will have a much lesser environmental footprint and would be simpler to maintain. The industry is poised to accrue significant revenues from manufacturers looking for advanced power generation and distributions systems as well as fuel-saving technologies for cabin pressurization and air conditioning. Reports estimate that more electric aircraft industry size would exceed a global valuation of over US$45 billion by 2025.

Author Name :Pankaj Singh