Since their invention at the start of the 20th century, airplanes have transformed how we travel. The history of aviation is brimming with technological advancements that have increased mobility and exploration, opening the skies to the masses. Today’s modern jet era is showcasing advancements in aviation that push boundaries and elevate the standards of commercial flight.
Today’s airplanes are the pinnacle of design, featuring future-ready safety designs and improved safety protocols as well as new navigational technologies and improvements in MRO efficiency. This article will discuss these innovative technologies alongside emerging developments including:
- Advances in technology
- Enhanced pilot guidelines
- Enhanced safety awareness and knowhow among aviation companies, MRO experts, and the entire industry
Advancements in Aviation Technology
Many industries have taken great strides to reduce their carbon footprint, and the aviation industry is no different. Complying with global climate policies, the aviation industry has turned to alternative fuels to offset greenhouse emissions. Alternative fuels are not the only way that modern planes actually reduce emissions.
More efficient flying machines, thanks to enhancements in aerodynamics and engine design as well as improvements in material use, contribute to planes being more efficient with fuel combustion.
Alternative fuels promising to further advance aviation flight include biofuel, electric, and solar. These fuel sources will not only positively impact the global environment but also lower operational costs, making flights cheaper.
Pilots and the manufacturing industry are also turning to technology to improve navigational assistance, safety protocols, and guidelines. Augmented reality is enhancing information training in this highly regulated industry. Pilots are testing high-tech gadgets such as Google Glass to call up flight-related information like electronic checklists, weather information, and view charts and maps.
From an MRO perspective, augmented reality is improving turnaround for personnel required to perform MRO activities. This addresses the current shortage of training personnel while expanding information and knowledge sharing capabilities. Long-term augmented reality will allow MRO personnel to train anywhere in the world and provide expert advice to other industry professionals no matter their geographical location.
Transforming MRO Efficiency
Thanks to advancements in technology, MRO companies have figured out ways to improve overall efficiency and reduce cost. An approach that employs the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data has contributed to simplifications in quality of produced work and improved efficiency for forecasting, inventory management, and scheduling.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
As the MRO industry is a data-heavy industry, the Internet of Things, or IoT, has transformed all aspects of MRO activities. From production to maintenance, IoT is being harnessed to enhanced predictive maintenance. This has resulted in the enhanced ability to address and detect minor faults before they escalate into debilitating issues.
Better data-driven decision making means less downtime for fleets and spend is more judiciously accounted for, particularly regarding required parts and inventory.
The extensive research, design, and implementation of new technologies have resulted in an aviation industry far safer than ever. Positive statistics highlight the significant achievements technology has contributed to reducing fatal accidents and other types of fatalities. In part, such improvements could also be rendered to enhance pilot training and air traffic control management.
While engineering feats have created an exceptional standard for safety and reliability, the increased focus on a safety culture in the aviation industry has significantly made a positive impact on passenger safety. Tools like augmented reality and required recurrent training have created reform in flight training, creating a more controlled professional environment that reduces the risk of human error.
The technological progress such training tools provide mean potential fallout and accidental statistics are on the decline. Data has shown that today’s aircraft operate safer than ever, and more efficiently, reaching their destinations without cause for calamity or any untoward incidents.
Since the Wright brothers took their first steps to claiming the skies, aviation technology has improved in leaps and bounds. What lies ahead for the aviation industry can only be imagined. But the current technological advancements taking shape, propelling the aviation industry to new heights, are indeed remarkable.
Viktoria Grokhovskaya is an independent aviation expert currently working within the aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry in the UAE. She received her bachelor’s degree in Management and a Specialist Diploma in Economics and Management at the Enterprise from Astrakhan State Technical University.