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Aviation Aftermarket: A Software-Driven Industry

By Auto Tech Outlook | Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Aviation Aftermarket: A Software-Driven Industry

The aviation industry is going through a massive evolution and software-driven industry is creating a new aftermarket promoting data science, analytics, and insights.

FREMONT, CA: Competition in the aviation industry is increasing and commercial airline carriers have to streamline their processes to reduce the cost. Additionally, the rapidly growing competition has also led the commercial air carriers to reduce operational costs to benefit the customer. Owing to the steady growth, airline carriers have to leverage digital and advanced tools to make informed decisions based on the overwhelming data generated every minute.

Today, new aircraft designs are not only better than the models of previous generations but also integrated with better software and data-generation tools. Several digital products and composite structures such as high-bypass engines, robotic assembly, additive manufacturing, and networked cabins are better than their previous generations. Their new physical features do not just define new generation aircraft but how these features are governed by software. For instance, a Boeing 787 has ten times more health-monitoring parameters as compared to the Boeing 767. On the other hand, the Airbus A350 has three times the number of integrated modular avionics as the first generation of Boeing 777. According to Boeing and Airbus’ 2018 estimates, approximately 75 percent of the global airline will be digital or e-enabled by 2037.

To date, data has been the focus of improving aircraft reliability and availability. Due to the shift in the market, software-driven aircrafts are reshaping aftermarket services and the companies that deliver them. The increasing use of the software is creating new aftermarket segments linked to data generation and analytics.  As the aircrafts become highly software-based, a large portion of an aircraft’s long-term value will be connected to the continual improvement of the software.  The new aftermarket segment created by softwares, the data it generates, and the related digital products will favor OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. Also, the companies that deliver aftermarket software will have to build skills in iterative, agile software delivery, and data analysis.

The aftermarket providers have to develop software incrementally to improve aircraft performance, safety, economy, and passenger experience. The new age aircrafts are rapidly becoming a platform that runs on newer apps. Owing to this, aftermarket providers must build, test, certify, and deploy softwares quickly that can handle such load. The data generated by the software will require data science and other skills to close the software value loop. The software-driven aviation industry is promoting data science, analytics, and insights.

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