The aviation industry suffered a huge loss in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully the scales are looking up in 2023. The pandemic accelerated and demanded technological changes that address the critical issues the industry faces in a post-COVID world. However, the pressure and changes demanded by climate change are also shaping the industry. Let’s see what trends are expected to shape the industry in 2023!
It seems like 2023 will be the year of electric transportation. One of the top trends in the automotive industry will be electric vehicles, and it looks like the avionics industry is going in the same direction. With climate change garnering increased policy and regulatory attention besides the general attention of the public, companies in the avionics industry are looking to become more sustainable by lowering emissions and implementing sustainable manufacturing. However, aerospace is one of the most challenging industries to decarbonize, due to the scale and costs involved and the regulatory challenges of putting new technologies in the air. However, next year we will likely see an increase in the production of sustainable aviation fuels to meet IATA targets and further advancements in electric and hybrid propulsion technologies. IATA states that electric motors are a crucial element in reaching the environmental goals for 2050, due to them not producing any emissions during their operations. This is why companies such as Lilium are developing fully electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft.
Advanced Air Mobility and eVTOL
In 2023 eVTOL companies will likely see significant technological and regulatory progress. In 2022 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) modified the regulatory approach for aircraft certification for powered lift and pilot certification. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has also published a new regulatory framework for eVTOL aircraft certification and operations. The industry may see several announcements in 2023 about where eVTOL companies plan to launch their operations and explore potential routes.
It is anticipated that NASA will accelerate eVTOL flight testing in 2023 as part of its AAM National Campaign. This could benefit the industry by advancing the inclusion of AAM aircraft in the national airspace system.
Digital thread and model-based enterprise
The aviation industry is no exception to being expected to be more agile with production capabilities to navigate future disruptions. According to research done by Deloitte 85% of the surveyed manufacturing enterprises across industries are undertaking initiatives in core MBE capabilities, due to the growing needs and expectations of A&D customers to go through digital transformation. MBE is the first step to digital transformation that integrates multiple processes from design to build into a unified environment, and data created by one step in the process is directly used by the next. This can help to evaluate the impact of changes on the product across the value chain. To address operational challenges aviation companies could use advanced technologies, such as IoT, digital twins, and machine learning. According to Deloitte, only 5 % of manufacturing companies are using digital thread, but around 85 % of companies have a plan to implement it in the future. They also indicate that digital thread can reduce engineering hours by 35% - 45% and increases production by 7% - 10 %.