The turboprop engine market is expected to register a CAGR of over 3% during the forecast period.
- The preference for turboprop engine-powered aircraft in commercial aviation is growing with the introduction of new regional routes. The turboprop engines are highly efficient in the short distance and low altitude flying, which is helping their growth in the commercial aviation sector. In the military and general aviation segments, the growth in demand is mainly due to the introduction of new aircraft models that are powered by turboprop engines, in recent years.
- However, due to the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, aircraft operators are facing a liquidity crisis, especially in the Commercial Aviation and the General Aviation sectors, which is expected to hamper the future purchases of turboprop aircraft, thereby restraining the growth of the market for turboprop engines during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Growth in Demand for Newer General Aviation Aircraft Models Driving the Innovations in the Engine Technologies
With the growth in demand for newer aircraft models featuring the latest avionics and technological advancements in terms of performance, several turboprop aircraft manufacturers are developing new aircraft. In June 2020, Epic Aircraft delivered its first two Epic E1000 aircraft, which are single-engine, six-seat, turboprop light aircraft. According to the company, the Epic E1000 is currently the fastest single-engine civil aircraft, due to the incorporation of the 1200 HP Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67A engine and has more currently than 80 aircraft on order. On the other hand, Pilatus is also making efforts to attract new customers with the launch of its PC-12 NGX, a new and improved version of its PC-12 single-engine turboprop. The aircraft is powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new PT6E-67XP turboprop engine, which makes it faster and quieter than its predecessors. Also, the PT6 E-series engine is the first engine in the general aviation segment with a dual-channel integrated electronic propeller and engine control system. Thus, the growth in demand for newer turboprop aircraft, especially in the general aviation segment is expected to drive the innovations in turboprop engines which is expected to help the market growth during the forecast period.
North America Projected to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
North America is the largest market for Turboprop Engines in 2019. The region is also expected to grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast period, due to large-scale demand for turboprop aircraft from the United States. In the General Aviation segment, North America alone accounted for about 50.3% of the turboprop aircraft shipments in 2019. The region is also generating demand for new turboprop aircraft in the commercial aircraft segment, with the growth in the demand for regional aircraft. In April 2019, Silver Airways LLC., is a United States regional airline, became the first U.S. airline to operate the new ATR -600 series aircraft after taking delivery of three new ATR 42-600 aircraft in 2019. As of 2019, the airline planned to take the delivery and start the operations of 20 ATR-600 series aircraft by 2020. The ATR-600 series of aircraft features improved PW127M engines which enable a 5% increase in takeoff power via a "boost function" used only when called for by takeoff conditions. On the other hand, the US, which has the highest military spending in the world, is also the largest market for military turboprop transport and tanker aircraft in the world. The country, in December 2019, ordered 50 more Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The contract alone, may generate demand for around 250 Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines that power the aircraft, during the forecast period. Such orders for turboprop aircraft is expected to generate demand for the turboprop engine in North America, thereby contributing to its high share in the market during the forecast period.
Some of the prominent players in the market are Pratt & Whitney (Raytheon Technologies Corporation), Rolls-Royce plc, Safran, GE, and Honeywell International, Inc. The market is consolidated, with the presence of a few turboprop engine OEMs which occupy a majority of the market share. The engine manufacturers and OEMs enjoy long-term contracts, for providing products and their services, thereby, making it difficult for new players to enter and sustain in the market. Significant investment into R&D of advanced technologies like additive manufacturing and incorporation of automation and AI to increase the production rate of the engines are expected to help the players to ramp up their production capacity, thereby, helping their growth during the forecast period.
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