Companies in this industry manufacture aircraft engines and engine parts, as well as fuselage, propeller and rotor, landing gear, electric and hydraulic control, and avionic systems. Major companies include GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney (US); Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Japan); Rolls-Royce (UK); and SAFRAN, Thales, and Zodiac (France).
Rapid changes in technology and geographic shifts in demand are affecting how and where aircraft engine and parts manufacturers compete. Amid passenger and cargo demand growth in emerging markets, companies are forging global partnerships to share risks, costs, and sales, and to increase their manufacturing and support services footprints. Technologies including additive manufacturing, the internet of things (IoT), and big data are increasingly important competitive differentiators. Engine and parts companies aim to leverage these and other technologies to reduce aircraft operating costs and improve their own cost structures.
Products, Operations & Technology
Makers of engines and engine parts account for about half of US industry revenue; makers of nonengine parts account for the remainder. Manufacturers usually specialize in producing parts for one of several major systems, including engine, fuselage, propellers and rotors, landing gear, electric and hydraulic control systems, and electronic systems (avionics). Primary subcontractors ("primes") that deliver major systems like engines or wings to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), in turn subcontract much of the component manufacturing activity to smaller contractors.