Avnet Silica’s Paul Leys, explains how the company is helping aviation manufacturers source the technology needed to support next generation air-based transportation
The avionics sector is recovering from three of the most difficult years in its history. However, things are starting to look positive and there is ample potential for innovation. According to Market Research Strategy, the post-pandemic global aerospace business is experiencing a 6.4 per cent CAGR and is on track to be worth $80 billion by 2027. Similarly, analysts at Research Dive predict annual revenues will exceed $110 billion by the end of this decade.
Rising jet fuel prices—alongside the need to curb air travel’s environmental impact—are driving decarbonisation efforts throughout the sector. Figures compiled by Deloitte state that prior to the Covid-led drop in activity, airlines were responsible for over a billion tonnes of carbon emissions each year. Without appropriate measures, the worry is these levels will soon return. In response, in addition to raising aircraft power system efficiencies to minimise their emissions, substantial engineering resources are being directed towards development of electrically propelled aircraft.
Advanced air mobility (AAM) will be another key growth driver. Large amounts of venture capital are being ploughed into start-ups involved in this, as well as established aerospace companies making investments. AAM will take air travel beyond its traditional confines, addressing new market opportunities. The main focus will relate to development of electric-propelled (or hybrid) vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. These will offer a quick, convenient way of completing relatively short air journeys within congested urban areas. Examples of how this could be used include transportation of small items of freight around a city or taxiing passengers from pads at the top of buildings in central city locations to outlying airports where they can take longer flights. There is also significant interest in making aircraft either semi or fully autonomous, to improve safety.
Although investment in avionics is clearly returning, other obstacles must be overcome. Component shortages and extended lead times could stifle growth. A study conducted by Avnet Silica in spring identified the industries where supply chain concerns were most severe. It placed aerospace/defence in the top ten.
To alleviate the difficulties faced by aerospace manufacturers and systems integrators, Avnet Silica has built robust and reliable distribution channels. Via these, critical components required for the latest designs can be provided—such as analogue/mixed, power, digital and sensor devices. This hardware is backed up by access to technical support and logistical advice.
By engaging with Avnet Silica, leading players in the avionics industry can source the technology needed to support next generation air-based transportation. This is enabling the emergence of aircraft with new forms of functionality, greater autonomy and heightened sustainability.