The world of aeronautics brings together a large number of elements: many participants, services, and functions. The aircraft is a central component and is obviously essential, but it is surrounded by many other aspects that make aviation a set of varied complex systems, with specific characteristics and roles, that interact with each other so as to ensure a very high level of security and optimal operational performance.
In this vast system, technology is used and can be applied everywhere. The aviation industry is evolving at a very high rate, innovation is therefore critical within the industry. With current advances in multiple sectors, you just have to keep an eye out for how many technologies can be adapted and transferred to the aerospace industry.
The aviation industry encompasses four main types of components:
The MRO sector brings together all activities related to the maintenance and repair of the aircraft. Compliance with the processes in the various MRO operations is crucial for the safety of air transport. Sometimes the airlines perform the maintenance of their aircraft, but there are also specialized companies, the maintenance centers, who are able to service the fleets of multiple airlines. For an airplane, a large number of tasks have to be performed at specific times in its lifecycle and involve the mobilization of a large number of material and human resources for a relatively long period of time.
- Technology to support material acquisition or logistics can play a big role in reducing costs and improving the efficiency of maintenance and repairs.
- Drones coupled with Artificial Intelligence would be used to perform inspections and make predictions on maintenance planification.
- For MROs, additive manufacturing means the ability to seamlessly print replacement parts that are strong, durable, lightweight and quick as well as inexpensive to create.
Airports embody the passage from the land world to the air world, and vice versa. Their smooth operation is ensured by different service providers, the aim being to ensure a high level of safety and comfort for all passengers. When we travel there is a whole world working to ensure that the stages of our journey are safe and performed efficiently. Countless technologies have been used to ensure these roles and others can still contribute.
- Tracking technologies can be considered for luggage.
- Augmented reality can help passengers to see if their luggage is entering the cabin.
- Facial recognition can speed up the registration process, every aspect is capable to be touched by innovation.
Airlines are at the heart of the air transportation system as they provide the transportation service to travellers. They define the airports they will connect through, planes utilized, schedules, services on board, and prices in order to develop an offer to future passengers. They are the ones who operate the airplanes and interact with all the other elements of the system. The passenger experience plays a lot on its satisfaction, and technology can be used to increase what a customer or a future customer can do.
Aeronautical manufacturers bring together the major industrial part of the aviation world and are where innovation and technology transfer can make the biggest impact on the industry. Airbus and Boeing, for example, are aircraft manufacturers and other industries revolve around these OEMs, such as engine manufacturers like Safran, Rolls-Royce, General Electric, and Pratt & Whitney. Every piece counts in aeronautics, and precision and quality are paramount. Those working in industry can be "augmented" with technology to improve quality, capacity capability, and overall operations.
- Decision support tools can be put in place to reduce costs and increase productivity.
- A whole factory can be connected by the Internet of Things, resulting in the digitalization of the industry amongst its entire supply chain, offering greater efficiency and production improvements.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality can enhance the production capability and help workers become more efficient.