A fuel system consists of storage tanks, valves, pumps, filters, metering devices, fuel lines, and monitoring devices. The fuel system allows the fuel to pass to the auxiliary power unit (APU) and propulsion system. Fuel systems largely depend on the size and complexity of the aircraft.
The aircraft fuel systems market during 2016-2020 is expected to benefit from the global economic recovery which has driven the increase in air passenger traffic. It is predicted the global passenger numbers will exceed 7 billion in the next 20 years which in turn will lead to an increase in the number of aircrafts.
Another reason for the rising aircraft numbers is the steady increase in fleet retirements. This rise in the number of next-generation aircrafts will contribute to the increase in demand for fuel systems.
According to Abhay Singh, a lead research analyst at Technavio for aerospace components, “Increase in offshore activities, search and rescue missions, and wildlife photography have also led to an increase in demand for helicopters. Such increased procurement activities will further drive the fuel systems market.”
Technavio’s lead market research analysts for the aerospace and defense industry have identified the following three factors that will drive the growth of the aircraft fuel systems market:
- Rise in demand for UAVs
- Increase in demand for aircraft
- Need for aircraft weight reduction
Rise in demand for UAVs
The global demand for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) is increasing continuously because of its wide range of applications in the civil, commercial, and military market. UAVs are widely used for missions that are considered unsafe for a manned aircraft, for aerial photography, reconnaissance missions, surveying, and measurements.
Traditionally, miniature aircrafts used carburetor for fuel delivery. However, during critical phases of flight, this process may fail to provide the optimum fuel mix which led to the development of electronic fuel injection (EFI) system for combustion engines. The increase in the number of UAVs will also generate a demand for advanced fuel systems.
Increase in demand for aircrafts
Recovery of global economic conditions has had a positive impact on the global air traffic. Global air traffic is predicted to witness an increase of over 28% which will lead to the rise of a number of new airlines and induction of new aircrafts into the fleet of existing airlines. AirAsia India, Vistara, Air Pegasus, and TruJet are some examples of new airlines that have begun operation in APAC. In addition, rise in the use of new-generation aircrafts will increase fleet retirements by 47% over the next decade.
Aircraft demand is growing at a CAGR of over 3% annually, which will lead to a proportional increase in demand for aircraft fuel systems.
Need for aircraft weight reduction
There is an increased need to reduce aircraft weight. Composites are increasingly being used in the production of aircraft fuel tanks and are generally made from synthetic rubber and aluminum. They reduce the weight of the aircraft by 20%-50% in comparison to metal alloys.
The use of composites results in fuel conservation, longer flight range, and greater payload capacity. A reduction in fuel consumption helps airlines to maintain operational efficiency. “In addition, these fuel systems are ultra-light, which enhances the performance factors such as loiter on target time, payload, and platform range,” says Abhay.
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