The Aerospace Industry has faced huge challenges on a worldwide level mainly due to economic and environment pressure changes. This scenario is creating some new trends and opening opportunities to the main Players to search for innovations and development of new technologies.
One of these trends is the Carbon emission reduction for the entire aircraft production chain, specially for the engine design. This policy was set by IATA (International Air Transport Association) which has recently established a new index of Carbon reduction for Aerospace Industry and drives fuel efficiency improvement in 1,5% per year until 2020.
In this way some aviation companies have already been looking for alternative fuels (“green fuels”) to replace the current aviation kerosene. This allows the dependency reduction of the fossil fuel which has also high volatility due to oil price. Among Bio-fuels it is possible to highlight the biokerosene extracted from sugar cane. This new fuel has already been tested on an experimental flight in the EMBRAER E195 aircraft from Azul Airlines in July 2012 in Brazil using a fuel mixture of 50% biokerosene and 50% aviation kerosene. This preliminary test revealed that by filling jets with biokerosene might be able to reduce up to 80% carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
Another trend of Aerospace segment is to develop innovative processes so as to mitigate failure risk. Large investment on incorrect technologies in a highly competitive industry can impact the financials and profit of the companies. For example, the automation (or even robotization!) of big parts of the aircraft, like fuselage, wing or command surfaces that requires a complex structural assembly, brings a substantial gain and savings to the business. On this route, it was recently announced by GKN Aerospace, in partnership with Bombardier, a successful try-out of an automated manufacturing process of the wing box assembly, which according to them should reduce the current time cycle assembly up to 30%. It is worth mentioning this technology has been developed to fit different structural assemblies (hybrid) what would also generate savings in the tooling manufacturing.
The global market has also signaled to the growth of LCC (Low Cost Carrier) airlines specially driven by the emerging markets, such as Asia, Latin America, Middle East and lesser extent Africa, due to the rising economic power of these regions. This growth has generated greater competition between the airline companies challenging the business and its profitability. So the industry is faced with the challenge to make more efficient airplanes, loaded with new technologies and less cost and maintenance time than the current ones.
Thus, the Aerospace industry as a whole has been moving towards not only to maintain its constant evolution, but also to reinvent itself. Surely soon we will be surprised with others technological innovations that will be created from this fantastic industry!