After a very difficult year for the aerospace industry, major aerospace companies are pushing forward with groundbreaking research and development in the hope of a brighter future.
The 2020 pandemic has caused a near complete-collapse in air travel, as lockdown and travel restrictions decimated revenues. This, in turn, has caused airlines to delay or outright cancel orders for new designs.
Despite this, companies such as Airbus and Rolls Royce have reaffirmed their commitment to research and development as they search for innovative new designs that could reduce the impact of air travel on the environment.
Airbus recently announced three hydrogen-powered design concepts, which could be ready to fly by 2035. The three ZEROe concept designs are “a historic moment for the commercial aviation sector“, said chief executive Guillaume Faury.
However, he pointed out that the “entire aviation ecosystem”, particularly airports, would need to invest heavily in new infrastructure.
Airbus are also anticipating an important deal in 2021 with several European countries for the Medium Altitude Long Endurance unmanned aerial system, also known as the Eurodrone, which could start testing in 2025.
This drone will be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and was first unveiled at the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show.
Rolls-Royce also have exciting developments ahead, with their sleek, all-electric aircraft ‘The Spirit of Innovation’ ready to attempt to break the world speed record.
Clocking in at over 300mph, the aircraft could be a world-leader in zero-emissions innovations, and can fly from London to Paris on just one charge.
For the record attempt, Rolls-Royce will team up with another British electric motors company, YASA, who have manufactured the three 750R lightweight e-motors needed.
Like the rest of the industry, share prices for both Airbus and Rolls-Royce have been turbulent at best over the past year.
However, it is clear that with continued investment aimed at solving the difficult challenge of cleaner air travel, the aerospace industry does not feel that all hope is lost, even after such a disastrous year.
The potential for revenues to return to a healthy level and stocks to rise is helped significantly by long-term plans with a strong focus on innovation.