In 2020, the global aircraft brake system market was valued at $10.52 billion, and today, it is projected to reach $16.95 billion by 2030. Perhaps, it would have seen a greater increase had it not been for the significant impact COVID-19 has had on the market in the last two years. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about numerous challenges for the aircraft brake system industry, such as logistical challenges, and an unprecedented supply-demand gap, among others. Currently, the industry is playing catch up as it continues to combat the challenges of aircraft brake systems for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.
The aircraft brake system is utilized to slow and stop moving aircraft. The brakes are generally disc-shaped and are either hydraulically or pneumatically operated. Furthermore, there are a few basic types, those of which are single disc, dual disc, multiple disc, and rotor disc brakes. When an aircraft brake is designed properly, it can withstand various unfavorable conditions and prevent the airplane from flying at accidental speeds. However, the introduction of aircraft brake systems requires extensive engineering and computation. The market is segmented based on aircraft type, actuation, distribution, and region.
The global aircraft brake system market owes its growth to the increase in air passenger traffic. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) yearly worldwide statistics, in 2019, the number of commuters carried on scheduled flights reached 4.38 billion. A little over a year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) stated that the global air passenger traffic was anticipated to recover to almost 88% of pre-COVID figures by the end of 2022. This rise would also lead to a surge in the demand for new aircraft across the globe. Hence, the need for optimized aircraft brake systems.
Commercial aviation encompasses two segments: passenger aircraft and cargo aircraft. As key aviation players are looking for ways to make the aviation sector safer and more reliable, the commercial aviation industry is seeing rapid development. With easing health and travel restrictions, a surge in the demand for domestic air travel is only expected to skyrocket. By 2040, more than 43,5000 new airplanes will be valued at a whopping $7.2 trillion. Alongside such changes, aviation standards will be modified and improved to meet new regulations in terms of passenger safety.
One such regulation outlines the operation of aircraft brakes under section 25.375 and details the various tests and certifications that major component manufacturers of braking systems must follow. According to this regulation, each assembly consisting of wheel(s) and brake(s) must be approved and designed so that if any electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, or mechanical connecting or transmitting element fails or braking operating energy is lost, the plane can still be brought to rest. While this is just one example, it is expected to limit the growth of the aircraft braking system market.
Nonetheless, as the aircraft industry develops aircraft with advanced systems and components to suit the demand from airlines, the demand for aircraft brake systems will increase correspondingly. As brakes are expected to operate under harsher and harsher settings, the risk of brake material degradation due to corrosion will increase, opening new prospects for aftermarket companies. Lastly, the need for aircraft braking systems that do not compromise the total weight of aircraft will drive the need for lighter variations.
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