Aviation Industry Advancements Create Exciting Opportunities
By: Dr. Ian McAndrew
It’s an exciting time for the Aviation industry. Recent advancements in technology have created many new opportunities in the field. Within 10 years the industry may even be totally unrecognisable. The use of four engine aircraft is heading towards history as engines become ever more efficient and reliable, yet the fee paying public is generally unaware of what they see as the board. Twin engine aircraft can now fly more than 300 minutes from land and more direct routes offer faster journeys that burn less fuel.
New progress has been made in design and manufacturing that add to efficiency. Both Boeing and Airbus are now using composites to reduce weight but also aid in the aerodynamics, which reduces drag and increases range. There are direct flights now from London to Australia, cutting out the stop over destinations of Dubai, Singapore and even China. The trending change in habits from flying without stop overs on route may not happen immediately, but, if cheaper, people will vote with their money and change will happen.
On the topic of China, their narrow body competition for the B 737 and A 320 has been finishing its testing and starts a third front in aviation for sales. This may benefit customers as it also means the need for economic efficiency in the design and manufacturing at levels never experienced or required.
Added to the excitement, all the systems we are starting to integrate could make for a safer and better system. You may be familiar with NexGen, where all commercial aircraft are integrated with satellites to ensure safety and the most direct routes to destinations.
Now consider the bigger picture, unmanned systems potentially flying in the same airspace as commercial aircraft. The sky may be busier but it will also be safer and more efficient.
You may have read about electric powered aircraft, this is not so far away. Ten years ago electric cars were never a serious alternative, now we have driverless electric cars with plans to have a total driverless environment. Imagine this in aviation and the dynamic are endless.
It is unlikely we will have pilotless commercial aircraft soon; although it is possible. More likely is one pilot there for emergencies; from there the next step is shorter. No cockpit, more space for passengers. Premium seating available to have the ‘best seats in the house’ and on flights that will be cheaper to operate. We hear frequently of pilot shortages, well, pilotless aircraft will remove that problem. Thus, technology overcomes a human shortfall.
Whatever your interest in Aviation, from design to operations, or manufacturing to maintenance, aviation is an exciting industry. At Capitol Technology University we have the degrees to support your career plans. Our PhD’s are research based and offer flexibility in study mode for those when time commitment to class is a problem. Learn more about Capitol’s PhD in Aviation here.