The landing gear is a vital component used for landing helicopters safety and easily. With rise in helicopter production for both civil and military applications across the world, the manufacturing capabilities of helicopter landing gear are also booming. Also, with growth in composite materials due to their less weight & strength capabilities, the use of composites is increasing. Moreover, development of autonomous robotic landing gear and presence of companies offering maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services are boosting the helicopter landing gear market growth. Furthermore, there are few steps witnessed in respect to helicopter production which is projected to contribute toward the development of landing gear.
The exponential growth of helicopters has complemented the establishment of MRO facilities in the world over the years. The scope of MRO facilities is expected to rise in different parts of the world, especially in Asia. Owing to the rising adoption of civil helicopters for various commercial purposes such as fighting wildfires, facilitating news & traffic coverage, conducting search & rescue missions, and patrolling gas & oil pipelines, the establishment of MRO facilities is also witnessing a positive trend. The rising use of helicopters is rapidly accelerating the scope of helicopter’s maintenance business.
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Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Helicopter Landing Gear Market
The COVID-19 outbreak has severely disrupted the supply chain and manufacturing of mechanical equipment, including the hardware component of helicopter landing gears. The emergence of COVID-19 virus across the globe, followed by lockdown scenarios, has led the aerospace industry experts to analyze that the industry would face at least a quarter of lag in mechanical equipment supply chain. This disruption is expected to create tremors through till mid-2021. The mechanical equipment and aerospace industry is likely to pick up pace soon after the governments across the globe lift the various containment measures steadily in order to revive the economy. The production of the mechanical equipment in aerospace industry is anticipated to gain pace from 2022, which is further foreseen to positively influence the landing gear equipment and aerospace manufacturing, including hardware components of helicopter landing gears.
Countries such as Singapore and India are witnessing the presence of companies offering helicopter landing gear associated MRO services. Tentacle Aerologistix Pvt. Ltd. has stepped into the area of MRO with an aim to create a landmark in aircraft maintenance. The company is waiting for issuance of CAR 145 approval, which is meant for component overhaul shop. The company’s MRO team aims to manage Bell 407 and Bell 206 Series components and helicopter landing gear overhaul. Similarly, ST Engineering is another company engaged in the business of offering integrated MRO services for repair & overhaul of landing gears, and other accessories. Airbus provides their services to various commercially used helicopters such as Airbus Helicopters – Dauphin AS365/SA365, EC155, Super Puma AS332, and Puma SA330. Furthermore, GKN Aerospace is among other players involved in the business of providing MRO services for helicopter landing gear. The company’s Fokker business unit has expertise in the area of landing gear, and it provides MRO to NH90 helicopter landing gear and F-16 landing gear. Therefore, the presence of such leading and well-established players in the MRO business for catering to helicopter landing gears is projected to create ample growth opportunities to the market.
Growth in Helicopter Production
The helicopter sector is quite dynamic as it adapts quickly with the ever-changing market forces and customer needs. The macroeconomic trends across geographies shape the overall growth outlook of the aviation industry. With an increase in adoption of helicopters for military as well as commercial purpose, the production capabilities of the same are also getting boosted. As per the data released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), in 2020, the military helicopters stood at 117 units, which includes helicopters of Airbus, Boeing, and Bell Helicopters; while piston and turbine helicopters stood at 709 units globally. Such massive units of helicopter production will positively contribute toward the demand for helicopter components including landing gear. Landing gear is among the essential subsystems of a helicopter, and it requires improved safety and smooth actuation; hence, standards and guidelines must be followed while developing landing gears. The growth of this market is attributed to the growing demand for both civil and military helicopters across the world. Countries such as Russia, the US, India, and Brazil have a large military base and high expenditure, which is positively encouraging the demand for military helicopters. Also, South Africa, Japan, Australia, and the UK are experiencing high demand for civil helicopters for commercial purposes.
Product development is the commonly adopted strategy by companies to expand their product portfolio. APPH; Circor Aerospace, Inc.; Dart Aerospace; Eurocarbon B.V.; Liebherr-International Deutschland GMBH; Safran; Sika Interplant Systems Limited; St Engineering; Technodinamika; and Trelleborg Group are among the key players implementing strategies to enlarge the customer base and gain significant share in the global helicopter landing gear market, which, in turn, permits them to maintain their brand name. A few of the recent key developments are:
– In May 2021, Safran Landing Systems signed an agreement with Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, to provide the landing gear system for the V-280 Valor aircraft. Bell’s V-280 Valor is a next-generation tiltrotor aircraft proposed for the US Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) Program.
– In November 2020, Liebherr-Canada announced the opening of a new branch in Sudbury, to enhance service to customers throughout northern Ontario. This continues Liebherr’s expansion in the Canadian market.
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