Aircraft Switches Market: A Snapshot

Aircraft switches, mostly limited to cockpit switches are witnessing a major innovation in recent times. The digitalization of airplanes is also driving major shifts in designing, customizing, and deploying switch technology. This has already resulted introduction of LCDs to overtake conventional rotary and push button switches. Moreover, the new designs are increasingly using touchscreen models which are more intuitive but due its digital nature, can be less reliable. The challenge in the market is to establish trust for new offerings and build technology which is small in size and diverse in its offering.

Many experts in the industry feel that the conventional switches will not go away to make way for electronic and digital gear completely. However, market forces are certainly pushing in that direction. Inclusion of electronic sensors can provide a more accurate reading of engine malfunctions, operations, and centralize a multitude of functions. 

However, on the passenger side the conventional switches are definitely expected to be thrown out of the window. Consumers are increasingly tech-savvy, and digital in their consumption. The growing demand for touchscreens to communicate with airline staff, to consume content, and avail on-flight facilities are expected to remain major avenues for growth for new players in the aircraft switches market. These are expected to remain core features of business flights, and turboprop aircrafts. 

Some major players in the market are targeting small aircrafts. With trends like Uberdrive, increased demand for urban air taxis, and increased interest in learning to drive planes amidst more intuitive flight control are expected to drive significant growth for the aircraft switches market. Small aircrafts for flight schools, as air taxis in urban area, and personal planes are expected to drive significant opportunities in the aircraft switches market. The digitalization on the horizon is a major opportunity for innovation for new and established players alike.

Aircraft Switches Market – Introduction

In aircraft, a pilot uses various switches to control and monitor the aircraft. The pilot uses cockpit dashboard which consist of different types of switches such as toggle switch, push button switch, and rocker switch to operate the aircraft. Pilot uses the instrument panel and overhead controls, aircraft cockpit keyboard, and aircraft cockpit controls to start the engines, and control the aircraft during flight, take-off and landing. In aviation, increase in number of air travel and advancement in in-flight entertainment & connectivity (IFEC) are contributing to increasing the demand of aircraft switches in the market as technological advancement in IFEC enhances passenger experience during a flight. Aircraft switches are used in various aircraft applications such as aircraft cockpit control, engine & auxiliary processing unit (APU), hydraulic systems, fuel systems, and flight controls.

Aircraft Switches Market – Competitive Landscape

Safran

Safran is headquartered in Paris, France. The company with its subsidiaries engaged in the aerospace and defense businesses worldwide with around 92,000 employees. In July 2017, Safran signed a contract with Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc. located in Leonia, New Jersey, USA for the development of new solid state electronic pressure switch (FFCI) which is used in CFM56-7B aircraft engines.

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Curtiss-Wright

Founded in 1929, Curtiss-Wright is headquartered in Davidson, North Carolina, United States. The company designs, and manufactures highly engineered, technologically advanced products for aerospace, defense, general industrial, and power generation markets along with associated services. In January 2018, the company engaged in indefinite quantity contract with Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) located in California, USA at value US$ 86 million to provide the aerospace instrumentation technology for use on the High-Speed Data Acquisition System (HSDAS) program. The agreement include to provide network switches, ground station systems, recorders, data acquisition systems, and telemetry systems.

Hydra-Electric Company

Founded in 1948, Hydra-Electric Company is headquartered in Burbank, California, United States. The company is a designer and manufacturer of breakthrough technology in sensors and switches for the aerospace industry. In May 2019, the company announced to take part in 53rd International Paris Air Show from 17 to 23 June 2019, at Le Bourget, Paris, France to introduce new high performance sensor and switch solutions for international customers.

Some of the key players operating in the global aircraft switches market with significant developments include Safran, Curtiss-Wright, AMETEK Inc., TE Connectivity, EATON, ITT INC., Honeywell International Inc, Meggitt, Staco Systems, United Technologies Corporation (Collins Aerospace), C&K, Raytheon, Hydra-Electric Company, and Unison, LLC among others.

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Aircraft Switches Market – Dynamics

Increasing use of Pressure Switches in Aircraft Applications

One of the major driving factors for the growth of global aircraft switches market is increasing use of pressure switches in aircraft cockpit. The use of aircraft switches depends on the type of aircraft. In aircraft, cockpit dashboard consist of various switches, such as toggle switches, rocker switches, and push button switches to perform multiple important functions. Pilots perform functions such as controlling the electrical power supply to various systems, starting the engines, lights, radio communication aids, and navigation aids during take-off and landing. In aviation, pressure switches are majorly used in aircraft system. The pressure switches are used to measure outside air pressure, and determine airspeed that helps to run and control the aircraft easily and safely. Additionally, pressure switches and sensors are also used in testing of new aircraft design to monitor the aircraft’s performance during a flight test. Furthermore, in aircraft fuel system, flow of fuel to engine depends on pressure switches and sensors as it monitors whether the fuel system is over or under pressurized, which helps to prevent unnecessary loss of fuel, owing to these features, pressure switches are being increasingly used in aircrafts. Moreover, in military aircrafts, ammunition control switches are present for combat purpose. Considering the above mentioned benefits offered by aircraft switches are contributing to propel the market.

Aircraft Switches Market – Segmentation

The aircraft switches market can be bifurcated on the basis of:

  • Product Type
  • Platform
  • Application
  • End-user
  • Region

Aircraft Switches Market Segmentation – By Product Type

On the basis of the product type, the aircraft switches market can be fragmented into:

  • Toggle Switches
  • Push Button Switches
  • Rocker Switches
  • Cockpit Control Switches
  • Others

Aircraft Switches Market Segmentation – By Platform

On the basis of the platform, the aircraft switches market can be fragmented into:

  • Fixed Wing
  • Rotary Wing

Aircraft Switches Market Segmentation – By Application

Depending on the application, the aircraft switches market can be divided into:

  • Aircraft Cockpit Control
  • Engine & Auxiliary Processing Unit (APU)
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Fuel Systems
  • Flight Controls
  • Others

Aircraft Switches Market Segmentation – By End-user

Depending on the end-user, the aircraft switches market can be divided into:

  • Military & Defense
  • Commercial
  • Homeland Security

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