The aircraft lightning protection market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025).
- Aircraft are often struck by lightning and in order to avoid damage, all aircraft are equipped with lightning protection materials and systems that avoid electric field concentration.
- With the rise in air passenger traffic, airlines are placing orders for new aircraft to expand and modernize their fleets. Likewise, several countries are striving to enhance their aerial combat and transport capabilities, which is resulting in new orders for military aircraft. Such factors are simultaneously generating demand and driving the market for aircraft lightning protection.
- Also, growing investments in the R&D of advanced lightning protection materials by various aerospace material supplying companies may support the growth of the aircraft lightning protection market.
Key Market Trends
Commercial Aircraft Segment to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
The commercial aircraft segment held the highest market share in 2019. In 2019, more than 4.5 billion people traveled by commercial airlines around the world. The rise in air traffic is prompting airline operators to initiate procurement drives and place orders for new-generation aircraft. For instance, in July 2019, Air France-KLM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for 60 A220-300 aircraft to modernize its fleet. In December 2019, Air France-KLM Group ordered an additional 10 widebody Airbus A350-900s. In April 2020, Airbus received orders for 9 commercial aircraft (from its A320 product line) from Avolon. In April 2020, Airbus made 26 deliveries from the A320, A330, A350 XWB, and A320 neo aircraft families. Such orders from commercial airlines may generate demand for aircraft lightning protection, which, in turn, may propel the growth of the market during the forecast period.
North America to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
The North American region is estimated to have the highest growth rate during the forecast period, due to increasing aircraft procurement in the United States, both by the military and commercial segments. Air travel to and from the United States increased significantly over the past decade. As a result of the increasing air passenger traffic, commercial airlines in the region are investing heavily to expand their fleet with new commercial aircraft. For instance, in July 2019, Delta Air Lines ordered five Airbus A220-100 aircraft. Earlier, in 2016, Delta Air Lines had placed an order for 75 A220 aircraft and later ordered an additional 15 aircraft in December 2018. Similarly, in June 2019, American Airlines ordered 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft, which is the new longer-ranger version of Airbus’s A321neo aircraft. The purchase agreement included the conversion of 30 American Airlines’ existing A321neo slots to A321XLRs and incremental orders for an additional 20 A321XLRs. Moreover, many other commercial airlines in the US are planning for the procurement of new commercial aircraft to extend their fleet. Such developments in the commercial segment may drive the aircraft lightning protection market in the region during the forecast period. Similarly, procurements done by the military may also drive the growth of the market. For instance, in October 2019, the US Defense Department finalized an agreement to purchase 478 additional Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft in a deal totaling USD 34 billion. Similarly, Canada is also planning to replace its aging fleet of CF-18. Such procurements are expected to drive the growth of the aircraft lightning protection market during the forecast period.
The aircraft lightning protection market comprises several players. Some of the prominent players in the market are Astroseal Products Manufacturing Corp., LORD Corporation (Parker Hannifin Corporation), Gill Corporation, Dexmet Corporation, and Technical Fiber Products Ltd (James Cropper PLC). Companies are investing in R&D of materials used in aircraft lightning protection and are strengthening their technology portfolios. Some of the recent developments are as follows:
- In July 2019, PPG announced the acquisition of Dexmet Corporation, a manufacturer of specialty materials for surfaces in aerospace. The company is a leader in several critical application areas, including aircraft lightning strike protection.
- In June 2018, Microsemi Corporation introduced new transient voltage suppressor (TVS) devices, namely, the 18-kilowatt MPLAD18KP and 36-kilowatt MPLAD36KP TVS families. These devices have large plastic area device (PLAD) packages, and they also meet the RTCA DO-160E multi-strike lightning standard, which has more importance with the growing use of composite body airframes.
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