Despite its challenges, the UK’s aerospace sector is on the brink of an exciting year. As innovative as ever, the sector continues to provide smart solutions on a scale we’d barely have dreamt of just a few years ago.
From the increasingly real prospect of space tourism to environmentally-friendly, hydrogen-powered planes, there’s plenty to be excited about. Here we look at some of the 2021 aerospace trends that we’re most excited about. They’re backed up by UK aerospace industry statistics, as well as our own crystal ball predictions.
Back in September 2020, Airbus revealed exciting plans for a series of hydrogen-powered commercial aircrafts, the world’s first zero-emission aircrafts to be introduced. Despite the fact that, in the same statement, Airbus confirmed that the planes wouldn’t enter service until 2035, their research and development team will be plenty busy from now on. What’s more, when you have a company as innovative as Airbus, it’s never too long before competitors start to take notice.
We predict that there’ll be a few more zero-emission aircrafts in development before the end of 2021…
Increased mergers and acquisitions
In the past few years, there have been significant increases in the number of mergers and acquisitions being completed in the aerospace sector. In the past, businesses generally opted to go it alone without considering the benefits of consolidation. However, with long-term savings and higher production rates on the cards, 2021 looks set to announce more mergers and acquisitions in aerospace.
Greater use of simulated data and IoT
One of the most complex parts of the aerospace sector – and there are many! – is its maintenance, repairs, and operations (MRO) processes. These processes understandably rely on the sophistication of certain technologies and how they’re utilised. They’re also among the costliest processes in the sector.
One popular solution is simulated data, and a raft of data analytics made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT). This increasing use of data analytics has, in the last decade, allowed aerospace manufacturers to achieve their operational goals. Whether that is lowering scrap material waste or getting to the bottom of product malfunctions, the IoT has been a revelation for aerospace companies.
According to a report published by IoT expert, Davra, the IoT has the potential to help aerospace in the following ways:
- Consumers can be kept more engaged during journeys
- Overheads can be improved by analysing business processes to highlight inefficiencies
- Common complaints (misplaced baggage/incorrect bookings) can be addressed with better built service models
- Security can be enhanced without sacrificing customer experience.
More defence development
Only back in November 2020, PM Boris Johnson announced a £16bn rise in defence spending over a four-year period, which prompted countless aerospace manufacturers to look at their own defence products. For many, defence has always been a highly profitable area which is not as subject to the whims of traditional commercial market demand.
Taking government spending into consideration, in 2021 we are likely to see a greater focus on the defence side of the aerospace industry.
Greater (renewed?) focus on sustainability
Once COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic start to finally recede, we predict that there will be a greater focus on sustainability in aerospace. We saw this pre-pandemic and, as with many other industries, sustainability efforts may have been put on the backburner as businesses did what they could to essentially survive. In 2021 and the years that follow, companies in the aerospace industry will again look at improving their green credentials.
Have you thought about upgrading your own equipment?
If you work in the aerospace industry, you’ll know the importance of regularly upgrading your equipment when the time is right. Post-COVID, there’s likely going to be a boom in business and you’ll want to be there when it comes.
Take a look at our aerospace products and, should you have any questions, feel free to get in touch here. Meanwhile, take a look at our guides and resources. We’re always working on an article to keep you up to date with the latest developments in your industry.