Developments in aircraft features and performance are crucial to achieving necessary improvements in almost all aspects of the performance and productivity of the air transportation system. With many years of dramatic advances and continued developments in aircraft technology, there seems to be less problem with trying to keep up with the growing requirements of customers.
Aerospace technologies are becoming even more promising and sophisticated. Here is a quick glance of the top recent innovations in aircraft technology worth taking note of:
The Power of Drones
The real estate, infrastructure, agriculture, aerial photography, security and inspection sectors are now taking advantage of the power of unmanned aircraft systems, otherwise known as drones. Drones have gained a massive popularity among many recreational users, and are now becoming even more affordable than ever, which makes them more accessible to people.
With its growing popularity and functionality, it’s not surprising to see UAS moving quickly in enabling their use to expand beyond the limits of the visual line of sight and daylight operations. Once drones are permitted to fly beyond the line of sight of the operator, they are expected to meet the demand for commercial drones today.
Aerodynamics have continuously improved but seldom dramatically. However, the need for fuel efficiency has led to valuable changes in aerodynamic designs, which include active flow control, unconventional configurations, natural laminar flow and more slender, flexible wings.
Indoor Positioning Systems
Before, it seemed impossible to identify the exact location of moving objects accurately, like the people inside a building. The GPS technology or Global Positioning Systems are not suitable for indoors because satellite signals are usually not strong enough. The rise of indoor positioning systems, like the Beacons Technology, airports and airlines can use the technology to provide more customized and better services to passengers. The technology makes it possible for airport vendors and airports to know where people are and provide them personalized and relevant information.
Engineers have continued to work on how to make aircraft more efficient. Unlike ground vehicles that do not need to be improved for efficiency to the same extent as aircraft, as they can just refuel often, a long-distance aircraft should carry all its fuel with it. Fuel is heavy, takes up a huge deal of storage room and expensive. Its overall weight can also limit the range of an aircraft, and it must be restored in tanks that can affect the payload and its wing size.
New technologies and unique advancements in the technology has and is continuously resolving this and many other issues faced by the industry. Researchers and engineers today make frequent and incremental improvements that provide huge savings overall. For example, wing tip devices manufacturers and airlines install on new aircraft reduce fuel usage and increase aerodynamic efficiency.
A lot of manufacturers are also increasingly using materials that are lightweight, like carbon composites to build components and aircraft. Engine manufacturers also use highly advanced processes and materials to develop new, innovative engines. Indeed, the industry works hard to achieve the “impossible” advancements.