The aerospace and defence industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the uptake of advanced technology, and growing importance of technologies such as hypersonics and advanced materials. In the last three years alone, there have been over 174,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defence industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Aerospace, Defence & Security: Gas turbine noise dampeners.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
180+ innovations will shape the aerospace and defence industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the aerospace and defence industry using innovation intensity models built on over 262,000 patents, there are 180+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, bonded fibre laminates, thermoplastic elastomer laminates, and vibration supression devices are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Centrifugal fan impellers, ceramic composite laminates, and gas turbine engine testing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are protective blade coatings and blade alloy welding, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the aerospace and defence industry
Gas turbine noise dampeners is a key innovation area in aerospace and defence
Gas turbine noise dampeners refers to the technology behind the reduction of fan and jet noise, which is done in part by reducing the rotational tip speed of rotor blades and reducing the fan pressure ratio.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10 companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defence companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of gas turbine noise dampeners.
Key players in gas turbine noise dampeners – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defence industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to gas turbine noise dampeners
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Safran||164||Unlock company profile|
|Airbus||140||Unlock company profile|
|Hexcel||97||Unlock company profile|
|Raytheon Technologies||85||Unlock company profile|
|Boeing||80||Unlock company profile|
|General Electric||67||Unlock company profile|
|Rolls-Royce Holdings||26||Unlock company profile|
|Melrose Industries||21||Unlock company profile|
|Honeywell International||14||Unlock company profile|
|Ford Motor||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Safran is the leading patent filer in this sector. Aircraft noise reduction benefits those in the aircraft as well as those on the flightpath and leading companies are investing in the technology for this purpose. Other key companies include Airbus, Raytheon, Boeing, GE and Rolls-Royce indicating that this is an industry-wide effort. In terms of application diversity, Melrose Industries is top, followed by Safran and Boeing. By Geographic reach, Ford Motor is in top position, followed by Melrose Industries and Safran.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Defence.