Aircraft wheels are generally overlooked yet important component of an aircraft landing gear system providing the necessary structural strength and support to the tyres. These components take up the major load of an aircraft during taxing, take-off and landing. It has become imperative in the current scenario that aircraft wheels be made as light as possible while still retaining maximum structural strength in order to achieve low fuel consumption.
Modern aircraft wheels are typically manufactured by casting or forging process employing a two-part structure that is combined together to form a wheel. Aircraft wheels differ slightly in design from automotive wheels owing to the fact these have to accommodate multiple disc brake variants.
Aircraft wheels market: Dynamics
Affordability, high disposable income among consumers and an increase in the number of airports are some of the primary reasons that have influenced the growth of air travel across numerous economies. The demand for air travel is likely to increase in the upcoming years on the backdrop of an increasing number of working-class population and general need of cheap conveyance from one place to another.
As per the reports published by two major aircraft manufacturers, the demand for new commercial aircrafts is expected to improve by more than 200% in the next twenty years coupled by above-average growth of passengers which can lead to fruitful prospects for the aircraft wheels market. More than half of the global population are expected to travel by air at least once in 2018 as per reports published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) leading to airline operators to order more aircrafts further strengthening the growth of aircraft wheels market.
Sales of aircraft wheels through the aftermarket segment is also estimated to register a positive growth owing to improvements witnessed in aircraft MRO ((Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) services further benefitting the growth of aircraft wheels market. Another factor that has been the driving force of aircraft wheels market is the trend of major airline operators to regularly lease their aged aircraft fleet to smaller operators, who in turn resort to a total refurbishment of the aircraft.
is no secret that aircraft manufactures takes up a large chunk of lead
time, monetary investments, planning among others. These factors can
affect the production of aircraft leading to increased order to delivery
ratio creating backlogs. This can act as a restraint to the growth of
aircraft wheels leading to delayed delivery of the components and
payments. Another that cannot be undermined is the lack of well-knit
supply chain that can deter the growth of the aircraft wheels market in
the forecast period.
Aircraft wheels market: Segmentation
The aircraft wheels market can be segmented as follows:
By area of application, the market can be segmented as:
• Nose wheels
• Main landing gear wheels
By sales channel, the market can be segmented as:
• Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)
By aircraft type, the market can be segmented as:
• Narrow body aircraft
• Widebody aircraft
• Very large body aircraft
• Regional aircraft
Aircraft wheels market: Regional outlook
When it comes to commercial aircraft production, only two well-known players take up the majority of market share in the current scenario, hence, the performance of aircraft wheels depends on the locality of these two manufacturing powerhouses. As a result, the aircraft wheels market is particularly strong in both North American and Western Europe region.
The presence of a well-known, albeit small-scale manufacturer of aircrafts in Latin America can lead to opportunities for the aircraft wheel manufacturer to tap into the region for revenue generation on a long-term basis. The market in Asia Pacific is also likely to grow on a positive note owing to the emergence of homegrown aircrafts in China and a large market for airline operators. The same is also true for the Middle East & Africa region where major airline operators thrive in the region creating opportunities for aircraft wheel market to grow.
Aircraft wheels market: Market participants
The below are some of the largest operators in the market providing aircraft wheels to the original equipment manufacturers while small-scale players contribute a very small percentage to the total aircraft wheels market:
• United Technologies Corporation
• Beringer Aero U.S.A., Inc.
• Honeywell International Inc.
• Parker Hannifin Corporation
• Aircraft Landing Gear Systems Inc.
• Meggitt PLC