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Fuel Efficiency Sparks Innovations in Aircraft Winglets

Iraqi Airways Boeing 737-800
Iraqi Airways Boeing 737-800 | Antonio Doblado

The emergence of airlines as a safer and faster mode of transport imparts the aviation industry with the impetus for rapid growth. This ever-growing sector is witnessing intensifying competition where aircraft operators are lowering the cost of travel in a bid to attract consumers. The resulting affordability is a prime factor in making air travel as the preferred mode of transport.

Besides cost-effectiveness, the surge in disposable income and fast-paced growth of the tourism sector is also significantly influencing the growth of the aviation industry. The expansion of the aviation industry is directly correlated with the addition of new aircraft to the existing fleet. Such additions create growth avenues for all the associated aircraft components such as aircraft winglets. Aircraft winglets market is flourishing along with the aviation industry and the coming decades are expected to full of lucrative opportunities. 

Replacement of Aircraft Parts Creates Growth Opportunity for Manufacturers

From changes in shape to variation in material, aircraft wings have been evolving to improve the capabilities of aircraft associated with speed and fuel. Aircraft winglets are known to significantly improve the aerodynamic performance of an aircraft which substantially reduces the fuel consumption and cost of the aircraft. Aircraft winglet has turned out to be a critical component that aids in different actions related to aircraft such as lifting, flying, turning, landing and control.

This winglets industry is consistently expanding on the back of stringent regulations regarding the replacement of aircraft parts, which keeps on generating scope for growth of aircraft winglets market. The number of commercial and regional aircraft deliveries have substantially increased, bolstering the demand for fleet expansion, thereby boosting the market for aircraft winglets. 

New Winglets Reduce Expenditure on Maintenance

However, there are certain factors associated with new aircraft that make the sale of aircraft winglets sluggish. To start with, new aircraft come with a warranty of about five years. This warranty includes almost all the aircraft parts such as avionics, airframe, interior-exterior parts and engine, arising negligible expenditure on repair and maintenance during this period. Moreover, the probability of any maintenance issue capable of disrupting cost and operation is minimal during this period. The aforementioned factors have been slowing down the escalating sale of aircraft parts, hindering the rapid growth of the aircraft winglets ecosystem.

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Smart Wings Propagate Eco-Friendliness

Aircraft engineers are progressively approaching innovations in the aircraft winglets and are deriving inspiration from the flight capacity of the bird named Albatross. Albatross as a sea bird is regarded for its remarkable flying capacity which it achieves without batting its wings. The effortless flight of this magnificent bird covering long distances is followed by unlocking of wings for better navigation and adjustment with the speed of the wind. Albatross One is one such remotely-controlled hinged wing-tips that impart strength to the wings of the aircraft. These winglets generate very less load as compared to the conventional aircraft wings, to the fuselage during turbulence. The capability of the wingtips to flex with wind gusts has actuated this milestone into reality. 

With the eagerness to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, the stakeholders are focused to design aircraft winglets with novel design and morphing mechanisms that facilitate less fuel consumption. Engineers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are collaborating to come up with smart wings for aircraft that can make alterations in shape to control the flight of the aircraft. This wing is flexible to achieve optimization at every stage of flight to boost the performance of the aircraft. Transonic Truss-Braced Wing is next in the line of innovative development. It based on a concept that promises to reduce the fuel burn by half of what was burnt by the conventional aircraft.

Aircraft Winglet Market Segmentation

Aircraft winglets are finding an increased usage in four types of aircraft which include narrow-body aircraft, wide-body aircraft, turboprop aircraft, and regional jet aircraft. Different types of winglets gaining momentum in the market include sharklets, split scimitar winglets, wingtip fences, advanced technology winglets, elliptical winglets, and blended winglets. Prominent end-use that are presumed to be leading consumers of aircraft winglets are civil aircraft, military aircraft, fighter jets, general aviation aircraft, commercial passenger & cargo aircraft, and transport carriers.

North America Along With Europe Gains Prominence in the Market

The regional dominance in aircraft winglets landscape is highly dependent on the production rate of aircraft in any region. Attributing to the concentration of prominent market players, the aircraft winglets market is growing at a healthy rate in North America and Europe. Clusters of aircraft winglet manufacturers operating at a small scale are giving prominence to regions such as France, Brazil, and Canada. Represented by these nations, Latin America is gaining significance in the aircraft winglets market. In opposition to this situation, regions such as South East Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa and Japan are experiencing comparatively low demand for these winglets owing to the scanty presence of aircraft manufacturers. 

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The aircraft winglets ecosystem is highly consolidated with several market players operating on medium and high levels. Some of the prominent names include FACC AG, Korean Air Aerospace Division, Kaman Aerospace Aerostructures, RUAG Aerostructure, and BLR Aerospace, LLC.

The latest report from Persistence Market Research provides a detailed overview of the parent market. It further gives a comprehensive analysis of the changing market dynamics along with in-depth market segmentation. It thoroughly covers the competitive landscape of the aircraft winglets market, highlighting the strategies of the key players and different products offered by them. The report provides insight into niche segments and their growth projection for the coming years.

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