While Use of Composite Material Continues to Grow, It Does Not Dominate the Commercial Aerospace Industry
Technically, the composite material has been used in aviation throughout its history. Currently, high-tech composites are on the rise. Over the last decade, the commercial aerospace sector has had two carbon fiber composite aircraft introduced. The Boeing Company delivered the 787 Dreamliner, with Airbus quickly following suite with its new A350 XWB. While 50% of the former’s weight is made up of composites, the latter surpasses this with 53% composite content.
More recently, jet engine manufacturers are not only turning to composites for extremely high-tech carbon fiber fan blades but also incorporating ceramic matrix composite (CMC) parts in the hot sections that can withstand extremely high temperatures. The use of CMC parts enables weight reduction for engines and allows them to run at much higher temperatures, improving performance and efficiency.
With the exception of the Airbus A220, which is innovative with composite wings and tail, the narrow-body market lags behind in terms of composite primary structure. The dominating Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 MAX have turned to engineer technology on traditional metallic alloy primary structures for light-weighting. It remains to be seen whether manufacturers continue incorporating more carbon fiber composites into these aircraft or take another vector (as the Airbus A380) incorporating glass reinforced aluminum for the fuselage.
This study includes insights on fiberglass composites, metal laminated composites, carbon fiber composites, ceramic matrix composites, and carbon nanotube composites. It also analyzes the way these fit into the commercial aerospace sector. Suppliers of raw materials, fasteners, chemicals, and tooling, producers, and aftermarket maintenance service providers can leverage the growth opportunities identified.
The study profiles commercial aircraft in relationship to their material composition.
- The year the aircraft entered into service
- The percentage weight composed of composite
- The material types of fuselage, wings, horizontal and vertical stabilizers, pylons/struts, control surfaces, radome/tail cones, and doors
Key Issues Addressed
- Which are the major players in the commercial aircraft composite space?
- Who are the flagship partners of the OEMs helping make composite aircraft a reality?
- What is the future outlook for the use of composite material in commercial aircraft?
- What are the upcoming key developments through 2019?
- What are the current and upcoming focus areas for R&D?
- What are the corporate strategies propelling composite use in commercial aerospace?
- Is there any relocation of manufacturing outside/inside home countries?
- What is the partnership scenario among emerging market players? What are the future possibilities?
- Which are the companies driving change in the market?
- What are the major growth opportunities for the commercial aircraft composite market?
Table of Contents
- Key Findings
- Market Definitions and Segments
- Research Scope
- Key Questions this Study will Answer
- Composite Material - Legacy Aircraft
- Composite Material - Airbus A380
- Composite Material - Boeing 787
- Composite Material - Airbus A350 XWB
- Composite Material - Boeing 777X
- Composite Material - Embraer E-Jet E2
- Composite Material - Airbus A220
- Composite Material - Narrow-body Fleets
- Composite Material - Anticipated New Mid-market Aircraft (NMA)
- Composite Material - Aircraft Jet Engines
- Fiberglass Composite
- Metal Laminated Composite
- Carbon Fiber Composite
- Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC)
- Carbon Nanotube Composite (CNT)
- Use of Composite Material in Commercial Aerospace - Challenges
- Use of Composite Material in Aerospace - Pros and Cons
- Growth Opportunity 1 - Emerging Technologies
- Growth Opportunity 2 - Global Partnerships
- Growth Opportunity 3 - Narrow-body Market
- Growth Opportunity 4 - Vendor Opportunities
- Strategic Imperatives for Success and Growth
- The Last Word - 3 Big Predictions
- Legal Disclaimer
- List of Exhibits
- List of Acronyms
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- The Boeing Company