The helicopter ice-protection systems market is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 5% during the forecast period (2020-2025). Since, the architecture of a helicopter makes it vulnerable to the detrimental effects of ice-formation on the exposed surfaces of the rotorcraft, such as engine inlets, rotor hubs, and rotor blades, the integration of an ice-protection system onboard a helicopter facilitates the all-weather operation of the rotorcraft.
- To develop high-performance, all-weather helicopters, the integration of ice-protection systems is anticipated to increase during the forecast period.
- The weight of the components of a helicopter ice-protection system limits the integration of such systems in small helicopters. Furthermore, unlike aircraft ice-protection systems, the helicopter ice-protection systems are generally not included as standard fitment, thereby limiting adoption.
- Manufacturers are currently testing the feasibility of emerging technologies such as electrical de-icing systems, electro-thermal and electro-impulse technologies in helicopter ice-protection systems. The R&D efforts are thus anticipated to drive a significant technological disruption in the market.
Scope of the Report
The helicopter ice-protection systems market considers the different companies that offer major components of ice-protection systems to provide a comprehensive qualitative outlook. Market estimates are based on new helicopter deliveries and do not include aftermarket sales of individual components and subsystems.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand for High-Performance Helicopters
The demand for civil helicopters has been on the rise gradually since 2016 due to the rapid deregulation and increased the flow of investment towards the development of the required infrastructure. Besides, helicopter manufacturers are investing significantly in R&D to develop advanced helicopters. Since, the new generation of helicopters are required to fulfill the all-weather operational requirements of end-users, the helicopters are being integrated with advanced subsystems, such as high-performance engines, composite blades, and electric ice protection systems to enhance their operational parameters.
Fleet Expansion Initiatives in Asia-Pacific will Drive the Market Growth During the Forecast Period
The inherent ability for performing vertical takeoff (VTOL), hovering for extended periods, and efficient handling at lower-speeds have diversified the application profile of helicopters, encompassing a broad range of missions including air ambulance, power line inspections, crop control, life maintenance operation, and rescue operations. Thus, the high modularity and flexibility offered by helicopters have encouraged their deployment by regional operators. During 2018, helicopter deliveries in China grew by 14%, and the current fleet size is expected to double by 2022. The regional demand for helicopters has driven prominent OEMs such as Airbus to set up production units in the region. In April 2019, the Airbus H135 Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Qingdao was inaugurated following a cooperation agreement between Airbus Helicopters and China (signed in 2016) for the purchase of 100 H135s. Similarly, in April 2019, China’s State Grid General Aviation Company (SGGAC) received an H215 helicopter to conduct cable repair, cable laying, cargo transportation, and power line pylons constructions in remote areas in the country. Other countries are also adopting helicopters for a variety of purposes, including strengthening of defense capabilities. In September 2019, the Indian Air Force inducted eight Apache AH-64E helicopters. Similar inductions are scheduled to take place during the upcoming period, thereby driving the market during the forecast period.
The helicopter ice-protection systems market is marked by the presence of a few dominant players and is thereby anticipated to witness high competitive rivalry in terms of technological innovations for integration into new variants of helicopters. The market is highly susceptible to macroeconomic factors that affect the demand for helicopters, and a sudden change in market dynamics is expected to affect the total supply chain. Thus, the market incumbents, namely United Technologies Corporation, Leonardo S.p.A., Melrose Industries PLC, Meggitt PLC, and Curtiss-Wright Corporation are required to adopt a powerful competitive strategy characterized by a strong emphasis on R&D for enhancing their market dominance.
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