Frequently Asked Questions of Aircraft Electrical systems Market
An electrical system is a crucial and vital part of any aircraft. Between a light, piston-powered, single-engine general aviation aircraft and a contemporary, multi-engine commercial jet aircraft, there are significant differences in electrical system capacity and complexity. Nevertheless, the electrical systems for aircraft at both extremes of complexity contain a lot of the same fundamental parts. There are parts that can produce electricity in any aircraft electrical system. Generators or alternators are employed, depending on the aircraft, to generate electricity.
These are typically engine-driven but can also be APU, hydraulic, or Ram Air Turbine-powered (RAT). The output of a generator is typically 115–120V/400HZ AC, 28V DC, or 14V DC. It is possible to use generator power straight away or to change the voltage or type of current by passing it through transformers, rectifiers, or inverters. The output of the generator will typically be sent to one or more distribution buses. Individual components are powered from the bus with circuit protection provided by wiring-integrated circuit breakers or fuses. The airplane battery is additionally charged using the generator output (s).
In order to power diverse aircraft components, more complex electrical systems typically use multiple voltage systems that include AC and DC buses. Typically, the DC buses are powered by one or more Transformer Rectifier Units (TRUs), which convert primary AC power generation to DC voltage. An APU typically provides secondary AC generation for use both on the ground while the engines are off and in the air in the case of component failure. To offer redundancy in the event of multiple failures, tertiary generation in the form of a hydraulic motor or a RAT may also be integrated into the system. A particular arrangement is designed to power these buses in practically all failure scenarios, and essential AC and DC components are wired to specific buses. A static inverter is incorporated into the system so that the Essential AC bus can be powered from the aircraft batteries in the event that all AC power production is lost.
Major factors driving the growth of the market
For the two biggest commercial jet manufacturers, 2021 was a year of recovery after a more than difficult 2020 caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. Despite the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, 2022 is already well under way and is anticipated to be another year of recovery for the commercial aircraft manufacturing business. However, there is still a long way to go before deliveries resume to their pre-pandemic levels at Boeing and Airbus. Hence there will be significant demand for aircraft electrical systems in the years to come.
Trends influencing the growth of the market
Highly reliable power generation and conversion products will be crucial technology that will influence the growth of the market. Evolution of semiconductor technology will ensure robust distribution of power through the aircraft.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) projects that both passenger and freight traffic should quadruple by 2035. An increase in middle-class disposable income and the emergence of low-cost airlines are two factors that have contributed to an increase in airline passengers. The demand for in-flight entertainment and connectivity services has grown significantly along with the increase in airline passengers. The number of passengers flying has increased in major nations like Canada, the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Saudi Arabia, and India. When people seek to escape the monotonous routine that has emerged as the “new normal” in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, this behavior is referred to as revenge travel or tourism. It also results from a condition known as “lockdown fatigue,” or exhaustion that worsens as a result of monotony. These factors significantly increase the demand for aircraft electrical systems.
The electrical distribution system for the Lilium aircraft was awarded to Astronics, marking it Astronics’ first significant eVTOL announcement.
In order to make the research and development programmes truly collaborative across business, knowledge institutions, SMEs, and universities, GKN Aerospace will work with the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre, Technical University of Delft, members of Lucht en Ruimtevaart Nederland, and members of Netherlands Aerospace Group. The programmes will be worked on by approximately 100 highly specialised engineers and operators, based out of the GKN Aerospace centres of excellence in Hoogeveen, Papendrecht, and Hoogerheide. Advanced Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems (EWIS) for environmentally friendly aviation are being researched and developed as part of the electrification project. In order to distribute high electrical power as part of an electric powertrain (hybrid) or a hydrogen fuel cell system, as well as to convey data signals, this entails designing high voltage, high power wiring.