The airline industry has reached new levels of growth with guidelines being made increasingly lenient and air travel made affordable. Low-cost carriers with reduced fares have become popular in established and emerging markets, especially among the growing middle-class population. This has led to an increase in demand for development and maintenance of commercial aircrafts which will boost the aircraft fuel nozzle market during the forecast period.
Technavio’s aerospace and defense market research analysts have identified the following three factors that will drive the growth of the commercial aircraft fuel nozzle market through 2020:
- Use of ceramic matrix composite nozzles
- Increase in number of aircrafts
- Introduction of low-emission GEnx jet engine
Use of ceramic matrix composite nozzles
Boeing took up the initiative to develop a jet engine exhaust nozzle that is stronger and lighter than metal but can withstand high temperatures. The company's ceramic matrix composite (CMC) acoustic engine nozzle comprises a network of fibers that are affixed to each other with more ceramic. These properties reduce fuel consumption to a considerable extent and also adhere to the guidelines set by FAA's Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) program.
In 2014, Boeing completed a three-week flight test of its prototype CMC nozzle, a technology more advanced than its metal counterpart and it also supported advanced propulsion system architectures that were capable of additional fuel savings.
Increase in number of aircrafts
There is a significant growth reported in the number of air travel passengers in developing regions such as APAC, Latin America, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Africa, and Eastern Europe. This will lead to increased investments and corresponding growth in the maintenance and manufacture of aircrafts, thus driving the market for commercial aircraft fuel nozzles during the forecast period.
According to Abhay Singh, lead analyst at Technavio for the aerospace components industry, “Asia is an emerging player in the airline market with more than 3,500 wide-bodied and 10,000 single-aisle aircrafts due for delivery by 2034. Growth in aircraft orders and backlogs will mean an equivalent increase in the development and procurement of fuel nozzles, which would further drive the market.”
Introduction of low-emission GEnx jet engine
The GEnx engine, launched by GE, is an advanced high-thrust jet engine that offers immense fuel-efficiency. Although it was launched in 2008, it has already received more than 1,300 orders. The engine uses breakthrough combustion technology and offers added advantages like low emissions and noise. The GEnx engine is equipped with innovative features such as large and more efficient fan blades, which make the engine noise-free, and a twin-annular pre-swirl (TAPS) combustor that reduces NOx gases.
The TAPS combustor generates low heat and thereby reduces NOx levels up to 30% more than GE's CF6 engines. “The attributes of this engine have resulted in many investments, driving the market during the forecast period. For instance, in August 2015, Qantas Airlines signed a two-year contract with GE Aviation worth USD 400 million, to provide GEnx-1B engines to power eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners” says Abhay.
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