Electrification of aircraft has gained considerable momentum over the last year, both nationally and internationally. As pressures to reduce congestion, improve connectivity and reduce the overall environmental foot print continue to rise, the convergence of data, artificial intelligence, novel manufacturing and battery developments, new architectures are taking shape. These architectures will see electric, manned and unmanned capabilities take flight within the next decade creating brand new markets.
Aircraft will range from all electric, through to hybrid electric to more electric. Electric capabilities will power the plane and its systems in varying degrees. Aircraft will become reliant on systems that incorporate artificial intelligence and may over time become fully autonomous vehicles. The market potential as a result of electrification is considerable when considering the aircraft technologies:
- Market analysis by the ATI, considers introduction of Hybrid Electric Single Aisle aircraft around 2035, hybrid electric wide bodies in circa 2043 and all electric short regional less than 20 passenger aircraft introduction in 2025.
- This analysis suggests that the total global market value of hybrid and all electric aircraft between 2018 and 2050 to be ~$6Trillion, and the UK market opportunity value (if the UK invests in these technologies) could be an estimated $700billion during this period.
- Investments in hybrid and all electric technologies will also position the UK in good stead to address more electric opportunities on next generation updates of conventional aircraft, valued at $3trillion through to 2050 with a UK opportunity of ~$126billion.
- Overall value for just the systems community in the UK on electrical systems technologies could be over ~$150billion between 2018 and 2050.
The market offers significant opportunity in established markets such as narrow and wide body aircraft as well as brand new air concepts across the value chain of aerospace and aviation. The need for technology and manufacturing advancements is significant, bringing many of these capabilities needs to be done in collaboration with a very broad range of stakeholders spanning government, industry, academia and regulatory bodies.