The global commercial aircraft landing gear market size was valued at USD 18.73 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 27.31 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.28% during the forecast period (2022–2030). The landing gear system in an aircraft can be described in various ways because it serves multiple purposes depending on its location and the aircraft type. More specifically, an aircraft's landing type of gear allows for movement and suspension during taxi, takeoff, and landing. It is made to withstand abrupt shocks from landing impacts, lowering the impact loads transmitted to the airframe. The landing type of gear has shown the most robust demand in the commercial sector over the past ten years. The expansion of airline operators' aircraft fleets, the development of the retail aviation sector, and the rising popularity of low-cost and ultra-low-cost airlines all contribute to the growth of this market.
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Expansion Plans of Airline Fleet
There has been a steady growth in the annual aviation passenger traffic growth over the past ten years. Airlines have already ordered several aircraft in the past few years to increase the size of their fleets and expand their ability to serve more passengers, with a favorable outlook for past regional and international air passenger traffic numbers. The manufacture of new aircraft will increase demand for the aircraft's landing gear systems, and purchasing new aircraft will increase demand for the relevant landing gear suppliers. As a result, the massive backlog of commercial aircraft orders and the anticipated aviation industry recovery during the forecast period indicate that there will be an increase in demand for commercial aircraft landing gear.
New Aviation Programs
Incorporating sophisticated subsystems and cutting-edge technologies onboard a modern commercial aircraft was made possible by enforcing new safety regulations and emission norms. This has driven the demand for and scope of collaboration between aircraft OEMs and the entire upstream supply chain. Modern aircraft have advanced parts and materials, which lessen the need for routine maintenance. Additionally, given that airlines have low-profit margins, there is a growing trend to update their fleet with the addition of more recent generations of fuel-efficient aircraft.
One of an aircraft's more intricate systems is the landing gear system. The aircraft landing gear configuration is determined by the aircraft's geometry requirements, operational requirements, and mission requirements. This determines the number of wheels, tire pressure, tire size, shock absorber type, the layout of the landing gear, bay geometry design, and retraction kinematics. Furthermore, the finalization of the landing gear configuration is greatly influenced by airworthiness regulations. Landing gear designers must contend with weight, volume, performance, dependability, and cost issues. The development time must be reduced for the product to be economically viable and on time to market. These challenges need to be met in a manner consistent with safety rules.
Modern and lightweight landing gears are in high demand because of new aircraft programs. Manufacturers of landing gear and original aircraft equipment are heavily funding the R&D of cutting-edge technologies. As a result, landing gear system performance improvements are anticipated during the forecast period. Landing gear producers want to use lightweight, durable materials; therefore, technology developments will likely become increasingly important shortly. Applications for titanium and composite landing gear structures and actuation are currently being developed, which are anticipated to reduce cost, corrosion risk, and weight. Future landing gear will extensively use carbon composite brake materials, which have reached the technological maturity stage. These advancements are anticipated to support the market growth for aircraft landing gear systems and the rising demand for a newer generation of aircraft.
The global commercial aircraft landing gear market is segmented by landing gear type, aircraft type, and MRO.
Based on landing gear type, the global commercial aircraft landing gear market is bifurcated into the nose and main landing gear.
The main landing gear segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.50% during the forecast period. During the initial impact, the aircraft's main landing gear supports the entire weight of the craft. Consequently, more tires are used in them than in the nose landing gears. The main landing gear is also more expensive to manufacture than the nose landing gears because it has more parts. As a result, this segment's revenues are higher than those from the nose landing gears segment. The aircraft's main landing gear assembly is the biggest and most intricate one ever created for a commercial aircraft.
Recent problems with nose landing gears may have prompted aircraft OEMs and suppliers to consider new designs and materials to improve their effectiveness and dependability. New aircraft programs like the Boeing 777X have benefited landing gear suppliers. Boeing contracted Liebherr-Aerospace for leading gear steering hardware in September 2018. Liebherr will produce nose gear steering position transducers and main gear steering control units for the Boeing 777 and 777X. During the forecast period, incidents involving nose landing gears and the acquisition and development of new aircraft models are expected to be the main factors influencing the segment's growth as passenger traffic returns to normal and demand for further aircraft increases as the aviation industry's profit margins rise.
Based on aircraft type, the global commercial aircraft landing gear market is bifurcated into narrow body, wide-body, and regional.
The wide-body aircraft segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.77% during the forecast period. Wide-body aircraft, particularly the main landing gear, have a complex landing gear compared to the narrow body and regional aircraft types. The main wide-body projects in recent years have been the A330, A350, 787, and 777 programs by Airbus and Boeing. Future landing gear designs and capabilities are anticipated to change as electric architecture becomes more pervasive in aircraft. Recent upgrades to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner include the installation of electric brakes. According to Safran, these brakes have many benefits for both manufacturers and airlines, including streamlined maintenance, lower operating costs, quicker installation on the aircraft, real-time measurement of heat well wear, and a gain in mass that reduces fuel consumption.
Two of the most famous aircraft families in aviation history are the B737 from Boeing and the A320 from Airbus. The Russian and Chinese manufacturers intend to compete with the current industry giants, Airbus and Boeing, in the narrow-body aircraft segment during the forecast period, with the first deliveries of the MC-21 and COMAC C919 models anticipated in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The demand for landing gears for the programs will increase due to increased aircraft production and delivery. A request for narrow-body aircraft has also been created by the success of the low-cost carrier business model. The demand for aircraft landing gear is anticipated to rise along with the number of aircraft.
Based on MRO, the global commercial aircraft landing gear market is bifurcated into replacement, repair and maintenance.
The repair and maintenance segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.82% during the forecast period. To prevent potential mechanical failures during operation, airlines and aircraft operators have strict inspection and maintenance schedules for the landing gears. There are many instances where the loss of the landing gear put the lives of the passengers in danger, raising concerns about the aircraft's safety and the dependability of the airlines. Airlines concentrate on maintaining the security and safety of their landing gear to prevent such incidents. Brake and wheel parts are generally kept in good condition, but maintenance on the landing gear is typically tricky. However, maintaining landing gear involves a variety of tasks, such as routine maintenance (mostly lubrication), fixing non-routine (NR) defects, and making shop visits (SVs) to complete overhaul processes. Depending on the number of landings, Flight Cycles (FC), or Years in Service, the landing gear maintenance requirements will vary.
Emirates Engineering completed the first total landing gear replacement on the first Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft in May 2018. The entire A380 landing gear system had to be replaced at once for the first time in this instance. Emirates spends USD 650–750 million annually on aircraft maintenance and repair, and the A380 and the B777 make up the entirety of its fleet. Technologies are assisting MROs by accelerating the production of replacement parts, which shortens the time an aircraft is in the facility for maintenance. Additionally, 3D printed components give businesses an alternative to buy-to-stock by allowing them to make-on-demand. The make-on-demand idea and the mobility that 3D printers provide should make insourcing MRO supplies possible.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
By region, the global commercial aircraft landing gear market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global commercial aircraft landing gear market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.13% during the forecast period. The commercial aviation industry in China has advanced significantly over the last five years, and more advancements are anticipated during the forecast period. In 2020, China surpassed the United States to hold the title of the largest aviation market. Also, China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016–2020) strongly emphasized expanding the aviation industry, network, and infrastructure spending. The total number of civil airports handling passengers and cargo reached 238 by the end of 2019. By 2035, China plans to construct more than 180 new airports to accommodate the country's expanding air passenger traffic.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.80%, generating USD 6.95 billion during the forecast period. Delta Air Lines announced in October 2020 that it will delay the delivery of USD 5 billion in Airbus and Bombardier aircraft until 2022. Delta had four Bombardier planes and 200 Airbus planes on order when it deferred. More than 100 aircraft were retired in the first half of 2020, and the airline plans to retire 383 planes by 2025. American Airlines retired its Embraer E190 and Boeing 767 fleets in April 2020. After the type's US grounding was lifted, American Airlines began receiving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in December 2020.
In Europe, EasyJet extended its maintenance and repair agreement with Safran Landing Systems in January 2020. The aircraft will receive MRO services at the Gloucester, UK-based Safran Landing Systems MRO facility until June 2023. It covers 68 of its A320 fleet's landing gears overhaul and maintenance. In July 2020, British Airways (BA) said it would retire the last two Boeing 747-400s and replace them with the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787. The airline has also delayed the delivery of 68 new aircraft, 11 long-haul, and 57 short-haul models. The airline operates a self-contained MRO facility in the UK that can perform periodic and scheduled maintenance on A318, A319, A320, A321 and A380, B737, B767, and B787 aircraft, as well as D-checks on B747 and B777 aircraft. The facility also repairs British Airways' landing gear.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of economic and social transformation in the Middle East and Africa, a change that has been brought into clear focus by Vision 2030, the Kingdom's strategy for long-term prosperity. Saudi Arabia's aviation market has expanded significantly over the past 20 years. In 2018, there were 99.86 million passengers in Saudi Arabian airports, up from 92.42 million in 2017, or an 8% increase, according to the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA). With the help of liberalization, the Saudi aviation market entered a new phase of rapid growth. The two leading airlines operating in the nation are Saudi Arabian Airlines and Flynas.
Brazil's aviation industry grew in Latin America following the impending economic recession in 2015. Brazil had 103 million passengers in its airways in 2019, up from 94.14 million in 2016. The three most significant airlines in Brazil are LATAM Airlines Brazil, GOL, and Azul. Each airline stated that between 2016 and 2019, air passenger traffic increased significantly. As measured by revenue of passenger kilometers, Azul had the third-largest domestic market share and the second-largest international market share in Brazil in 2019, according to the Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC).