The aircraft industry has been experiencing technological advancements over the past few years. Along with this, the industry is showing considerable signs of growth in terms of employment opportunities and larger revenues. In the year 2019, the industry sales revenue totaled $909 billion alone, with 2.19 million workers in the industry.
Even though the past year of 2020 inflicted a huge loss on the industry, with the restrictions on flying being eased off lately, the airlines have resumed their original routes and the industry is on its way to bounce back strong.
The aerospace manufacturing industry is making use of modern technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) that can not only be useful to optimize the production processes and reach higher delivery rates, but also help with cost efficiency and meet the market demands. This digital revolution in the industry is giving rise to a few trends that show us a glimpse of how this industry will operate in the near future.
Electric and hybrid engines
Aiming to decrease emissions, sustain natural resources and become environmentally friendly, the aerospace industry is working towards replacing the originally in-use Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) with Electric Motors (EM). EMs, generally, must be protected using grommet edging to prevent mid-flight failures. These FAA-approved grommets or o-rings provide protection to the critical wiring and cable wrapping of important jetliner components.
However, batteries used in EMs aren’t as powerful as fossil fuels used in ICEs. Hence, the desired flight range or endurance will not be achieved with EMs
Here’s where the Hybrid Electric Propulsion System (HEPS) comes to the rescue. This system merges the unpolluting electric propulsion power with the higher range of an ICE. These systems still hold few complexities with designs, management and desired resistant materials.
Autonomous flight systems
Another trend being worked on in the industry is autonomous aircrafts similar to the functionality of drones for local transportation. These are being called Urban Air Mobility (UAM).
The economical factor with UAMs is that it will need a single pilot or none. These systems would be connected to regional airport stops and will need advanced tech with sensors, software and AI.
Additive manufacturing and consolidates
Aerospace engineers have taken an interest in additive manufacturing in recent times. This trend of 3-D printing lighter parts and consolidating them saves time and cuts costs. Another advantage of additive manufacturing is the production of on-demand parts, which increases the efficiency of the supply process.
Without an expert, 3-D printing could result in failure and give rise to more scrapped parts. The current solution is simulation. A manual operation would fail, whereas simulation would provide accurate printing results.
Multiphysics simulation solutions for complexities
All the above trends are facing some kind of a block or complexity. These complexities pose various risks for the aircraft if not tested and solved. Apparently, the only answer seems to be multiphysics simulations. These simulations have the ability to show you how the aircraft will function under given conditions.
Multiphysics involves multiple physical models in a computer simulation as opposed to a single physics domain. Many engineers are reluctant to switch from single to multiphysics simulation for testing purposes. But as the complexities in the aerospace industries are on a continuous rise, adapting to multiphysics simulation would be the best option.
The aviation industry is going through revolutionary advancements
The idea of using airspace for local and personal use is already beginning to take shape. Though the occurrence of a few complexities is inevitable, the latest trends show signs of probable solutions and major improvements. With such progress, job opportunities are on the rise. It’s safe to say, the aerospace industry is definitely booming.