The Global Aerospace and Defense Industry: Starting Strong in 2019

Global aircraft deliveries are off to a strong start in 2019. In fact, this is the highest amount since 2015. Gross orders did fall in February of this year, but order books and the backlog of aircraft have remained high.

This success is promising, especially considering the industry success of 2018. Both passenger travel and global military expenditure were strong, and that growth is expected to continue in 2019. Because of the rise in oil prices lately, the demand for fuel-efficient aircraft is continuing to increase.

Due to the cancellation of A380 orders earlier this year, there has been a decrease in widebody aircraft orders and backlog. On the other hand, engine backlog is at a record high, and there has been an increase in engine deliveries and orders, as well.

The main concern with this high demand for aircraft material is that manufacturers must increase production rates to compensate for the growing amount of orders and backlog. The increase in production will ideally cause growth in the sector, but supply chain interruptions could result in a failure to meet demand.

Aerospace and Defense Around the Globe

The Aerospace & Defense industry is led by the United States, but areas like China, France India, the Middle East, Japan and the United Kingdom will also likely contribute to growth in 2019.

China is expected to require over 7,600 new commercial aircraft over the next 20 years, which is worth $1.2 trillion USD. France also plans to boost spending on this industry, increasing the budget by 40% over the next six years. By 2025, India is expected to be the third-largest aviation market, and they’re planning to supply 478 million passengers by 2036.

The United Kingdom Aerospace & Defense industry has seen a bit of disruption, including a decrease in the value of aerospace manufacturing last year, because of Brexit-related uncertainties.

Technology is quickly improving, especially in the commercial industry, which will continue to propel the industry in a positive direction. Across the globe, forward-thinking and the anticipation of customer needs is imperative for the success of the aerospace industry.

3 New Innovations in Aircraft Technology

Originally published at

The first plane was invented in 1903 by Wilbur and Orville Wright, but we’ve come a long way since then. Each decade, new technology and innovative ways of thinking has made our world’s aircraft safer, more efficient, and better for the environment.

Today, our rapid technological advancements across every industry mean these advancements in aerospace technology are happening at a faster rate than ever before. While there are dozens of exciting advancements on the horizon, here are a few I find especially exciting.

Anti-Icing System

Layers of ice can build up on an aircraft’s propellers and wings when it flies through a cloud in cold weather. This has the potential to cause fatal accidents. The conventional system to mitigate this problem requires a great deal of maintenance and adds weight to the aircraft.

A research team from the UK’s Queen’s University Belfast is developing a new, innovative anti-icing system. It is essentially a lightweight heater created from a “web” of CNT (carbon nanotubes), used for deicing. Each layer of CNT is 1/2000 the thickness of a human hair. Over the next few years, the team will further be developing this system.

Aircraft Powered by Ion Wind

Researchers from MIT developed an aircraft that is powered by ionic wind (aka electro-aerodynamic thrust). The aircraft has no propellers, fans, or other moving parts in its propulsion system. In comparison to conventional aircraft, this new design is quieter and offers a more simple mechanical design. Another benefit: It doesn’t emit combustion emissions.

Although ionic wind was first identified in the 1920s, this is the first aircraft of its kind, potentially opening the door for more innovative developments in years to come.

3D Printing

According to one report, the 3D printing (aka additive manufacturing) market is expecting a compound annual growth rate of nearly 56% between 2016 and 2020. Through 3D printing, the overall aircraft weight can be reduced while increasing overall construction efficiency and potential for customization.

Etihad Airways is currently pursuing aircraft interiors created via 3D printing, and more of the world’s biggest aerospace companies are using additive manufacturing for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). The lifespan of an aircraft is typically 20-30 years, so MRO is a big business that can significantly benefit from new technology.

Beyond these three innovations, we’re also seeing developments in aircraft design, navigation systems, operations, etc. From manufacturing to the customer experience on commercial flights, technology like artificial intelligence and

The Future of Space Travel

Since the shuttle missions ended in 2011, some might think that space exploration was put on the back burner. However, there are many projects underway in hopes of venturing to asteroids and Mars. Some predict that by 2060, astronauts will finally be able to land on the red planet.

The First Phase

In order to extend time in space NASA must design a spacecraft capable of carrying more passengers and having a larger cargo space. The Orion capsule is just such a vehicle. The capsule was created to launch in combination with a rocket booster and an upper stage similar to the Apollo vessels.

Plans for the spacecraft include shuttling astronauts to and from the space station in addition to landing on the moon. In order to cut down on costs, the design must have the ability to make multiple flights. Unlike former spacecraft, the plan involves having the Orion arrive back to Earth on land. Unmanned test flights have reportedly taken place. However, it will not be until the next decade that the capsule will contain astronauts.

Visiting Mars

In order to land and stay on the red planet for an extended period of time, NASA must design a craft large enough to accommodate a crew of up to six members and the ability to carry enough cargo. Launching the craft, which may be comparable in size to the space station, also requires heavy-duty lift rockets. The craft must also have the ability to arrive at its intended destination and return safely back to Earth.

Future Colonization

Before any attempts at colonizing another planet might begin, scientists must determine how to overcome the gravity and radiation factors. For extended visitation to occur, the craft itself must be designed in such a way as to prevent radiation damage. Researchers theorize that facilities would need to be buried beneath the planet’s surface. However, exploring new destinations for extended lengths of time or engaging in construction processes put astronauts at a greater risk of radiation exposure.

The loss of gravity is another issue. The interiors of the craft and facility environments must come as close as possible to the gravity conditions found on Earth. Researchers continue pondering how to make artificial gravity conditions possible.

Financial Costs

NASA alone does not have the monetary resources to make future plans possible. However, they are in the process of working with private companies and organizations to offset the costs.

Personal Plane of The Future

With road traffic worsening across the United States at alarming rates, it’s no surprise that many dream of taking to the skies like George and Judy Jetson. However, people might be shocked to learn that several companies are attempting to make these pipe dreams a reality.


Enter the ICON A5, which is classified by the FAA as a “light sport” plane. Capable of landing on either water or traditional airstrips, this plane promises to cut the hassle out of travel. However, it’s not the only personal plane that is being buzzed about these days. As people begin to explore alternatives outside of the  traditional commute, there are many new and exciting aircrafts being developed.

Terrafugia Transition

One is dubbed the Terrafugia Transition, and it’s poised to make its sparkling debut within the next 24 months or so. If the roll-out goes as planned, this vehicle could definitely be a game changer. As soon as pilots land at their chosen airstrips or destinations, they will be able to drive to where they need to go, in the same vehicle! As many have pointed out, this will eliminate the need to get a rental car, as well as eliminating a trip to the airport. Pilot drivers will just pick up and fly wherever they want. The FAA will need to create regulations for these revolutionary new vehicles, but there is a real push for them to be designed.Consumers are sick of standing in long lines at airports and dealing with the stress and strife of traveling these days, so the hybrid vehicles would solve multiple transportation issues in one fell swoop.

The SuperSTOL

The SuperSTOL is a tiny aircraft designed to land in small spaces. All these vehicle owners would need is about 150 feet of “runway”—as opposed to the thousands of feet usually required when landing an aircraft of similar size.

For those who are wondering about obtaining licenses for these types of planes, the FAA is making things easy. Instead of requiring massive amounts of time training in the air, flyers will need to take about 20 hours of flight training classes. At the rate of about $5,000, it may be an affordable solution for those who are looking to slash their commute times—and have fun while getting to work.

The Requirements To Be An Astronaut

Being an astronaut is like tightrope walking without a net. It’s risky, formidable, death-defying and intoxicating for those who have the right stuff. Candidacy for the job is fiercely competitive. In 2016, 18,300 hopefuls applied to its ranks and only 12 were accepted. NASA requires its candidates to submit to a battery of interviews, medical exams and physically demanding drills. If you dream of embarking on your own space odyssey, here are 4 requirements to be an astronaut:


Minimum requirements refers to the initial assessment of a candidate’s experience, education and health. These attributes include:

  • US citizenship.
  • 140/90 BP in sitting position.
  • A bachelor’s degree in engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science or mathematics. Post-graduate study or three years of related experience are required.
  • At least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command hours on jet aircraft.

According to Dr. John B. Charles of NASA’s Human Research Program, “These are minimum requirements to get your foot in the door. That gets rid of the pretenders and posers.”


The applicant must satisfactorily answer two intense rounds of interviews. The questions are mostly behavioral with a few focused on work experiences and former projects. Some of the questions may include:

  • What sort of leadership role would you take?
  • How would you deal with a conflictive team member?
  • What is integrity?


This is also, rightfully, called astronaut boot camp. You must be prepared to:

  • Become SCUBA certified.
  • Spend myriad hours underwater, in a space suit, preparing for tasks you may be doing in space, such as repairs.
  • Swim three lengths of a 25M pool without stopping, swim the same distance in a flight suit and tennis shoes, and then tread water in the same garb for 10 minutes.
  • Endure repeated exposure to microgravity and brief periods of weightlessness (up to a herculean 40 times in a day), as well as shifting high (hyperbaric) and low (hypobaric) atmospheric pressure.

Your training will intensify to include:

  • Spacewalking training.
  • Robotics training.
  • Aircraft flight readiness training.

Being an astronaut is a superhuman challenge. But if you want to shoot for the stars, it sure beats a cubicle.