Aviation is the activity surrounding mechanical flight and also the aircraft industry. Aviation began within the 18th century with the advent of the hot air balloon, an apparatus capable of atmospheric displacement through levity.
A number of the progressions in aviation technology appeared with the controlled glissade flying of Otto Lilienthal in 1896; the big insignificance had come with the event of the primarily powered airplane by the Wright brothers within the early 1900s. The introduction of the jet technologically revolutionized the aviation industry.
Aviation technology is improving at a rapid pace, as many things are possible today that weren’t possible some years ago albeit we tried our greatest to make it happen.
The Top 10 Technologies of Aviation Technology
We can see the vast amount of investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data as an encouraging way of developing safety, efficiency, and sustainability. These technologies can further enhance aviation infrastructure and airspace utilization. Here are the top 10 technologies of Aviation Technology with maximum facile information:
1. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology is a structure that stores transactional records, also called the block, of the general public in several databases, known as the “Chain” in a network connected through peer-to-peer nodes. Typically, this storage is stated as a “Digital ledger”.
Blockchain technology for aviation has been intensely within the spotlight for an extended time. It might be harsh to call it a hype as its a genuinely disruptive force to be reckoned with in aviation and the other industry, especially by intermediaries.
Some promising case studies of blockchain technology in the aviation space are:
Blockchain technology can take the effort out of identity management. It can revolutionize identity management together with biometrics technology.
Tokenizing Frequent Flyer Programs
Blockchain can turn airline miles into something way more pervasive and valuable outside the defined boundaries of airlines and their limited partners with whom passengers get to spend their miles.
Item Custody-change Tracking
Bags change custody through their journey between airlines, airports, and ground handlers.
When something goes wrong with a passenger’s bag it’s important to possess a log of custody changes to see who is responsible. A semi-private blockchain can cater for this as an impartial ground for reporting custody modifications throughout the value chain. Encryption and hashing are also necessary to safeguard the data.
Aircraft Parts Custody-change Tracking
Aircraft parts change custody between manufacturers, traders, maintenance service providers, and airlines.
Smart Contracts can facilitate the tokenization of e-tickets and empower the value chain partners for ticket sales and other actions associated with tickets. Imagine if an airline could define the business rules and conditions on how tickets are sold and utilized by its partners through the utilization of smart contracts on a blockchain, empowering partners across the value chain to act on behalf of the airline securely and efficiently.
Blockchain technology seems like a powerful addition to aviation technology.
Drones have gained massive popularity among recreational users, and are rapidly becoming more and more affordable. Amazon is leading the drones race and has made some headway. The recent Amazon patent on the use of a flying warehouse shows where things headed. Uber has equally expressed aspirations through their report released some months ago, on the feasibility of ultra-short-haul commercial flights within the urban space. The rise of VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) vehicles offering on-demand flights in urban areas leveraging existing infrastructure (parking rooftops) as vertiports (airports for aircraft that can take-off and land vertically).
3. Augmented Reality (AR)
Both virtual reality and augmented reality are similar within the goal of immersing the user, though both systems to this in several ways. With VR, the user is isolated from the real world and dipped in a world utterly fabricated. With AR, users continue to be in touch with the real world while associating with virtual objects around them. Augmented Reality (AR) is more likely to perceive the airline and airport space.
The hypothetical AR view of a passenger augments information (sensory input, static and dynamic information sources, location, object and context awareness) and functionalities (e.g. buying lounge access by looking at the lounge access button at the top right corner of the view, and blinking twice, which would act as a click of a mouse). The same could be applied on the airport ramp to support ground operations through the use of AR technology.
4. Artificial Intelligence
AI aims to improve efficiencies in the taxing of aircraft, gate allocation, and turnaround activities. It’s 24/7 automatic monitoring, and reporting capability will help the airport, airlines, air traffic managers, and ground handlers understand safety-related issues better and thus reduce the number of incidents on the airside.
With AI gaining traction, industries are using it to upgrade customer experience at every touchpoint. From chatbots to voice-based AI tools, there are umpteen use cases of AI utilization.
5. Airline New Distribution Capability
The airline distribution space is continuously making headway towards a more effective and fast model where airlines are up to the mark, travel agents empowered, and the Global Distributions System has given a chance to make new products and services. The New Distribution Capability (NDC) industry program has been the driving force within the last few years, creating the mandatory standards and guidance available to the industry.
6. Indoor Positioning Systems (Beacons Technology)
For an extended time, it seemed impossible to accurately know the situation of moving objects (e.g.People) inside buildings. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are not suited for indoors because the satellite signals are often not strong enough, and also the accuracy is not sufficient. With the ascension of Beacons technology, airlines, and airports are moving to start applying this technology to provide better-customized assistance to travelers as they travel through the terminal.
MIAMI International airport is already leveraging Beacons in its premises to create a personalized experience for the passengers. The app provides information about the whole airport as passengers navigate through various places at the premises. Further, they also updated relevant information looking on their trip, such as; gate numbers, flight updates, baggage collection details, etc.
Electric flight has been around since the 1970s but remained limited to light-weight experimental planes flying short distances and solar-powered aircraft with huge wingspans yet incapable of transporting passengers. But because the warning posed by the climate crisis extends, there has been renewed interest in developing electric passenger aircraft as the mode of reducing emissions and airline operating costs.
Presently, there are about 170 electric aircraft projects underway internationally –up by 50% since April 2018, according to the consulting company Roland Berger. Many of the projects are futuristic designs aimed toward developing urban air taxis, private planes, or aircraft for package shipment. But major firms such as Airbus have also announced plans to electrify their airplane. It plans to send its E-Fan X hybrid prototype of a commercial passenger jet on its maiden flight by 2021.
The airline industry is additionally using robotics in assisting with various tasks like customer management, baggage handling, car parking, etc.
The introduction of KLM’s socially-aware ‘Spencer Robot’ created tons of buzzes. This robot has been equipped with the potential to handle social situations between people and can ‘see’ and analyze people nearby along with his sensors. Spencer also can distinguish between individuals, families, and bigger groups, and also learn about and so complies with social rules, ultimately acting in an exceedingly very human-friendly way.
9. Wearable Technology
Airlines have started to use wearable technology in various ways to do more than improving customer experience on flights. Some of the samples of airlines using wearable technology are:
– Recently Japan Airlines applied Microsoft’s HoloLens for training its new crew members and engineers. Using HoloLens, the mechanics trained about engine mechanics akin to the experience they will have operating on an actual plane.
– EasyJet and British Airways are among the airlines that have designed apps for the Apple Watch, allowing passengers to save boarding passes and receive real-time updates on their wrist.
An autopilot maintains the trajectory of an aircraft without continuous manual control by a pilot. Autopilot does not replace human operators. Autopilots in modern aircraft are three-axis and usually divide a flight into the taxi, take off, climb, cruise (level flight), descent, approach, and landing phases. Autopilots exist that automate all of those flight phases except taxi and take off.
In fine, the future of AVIATION TECHNOLOGY is E-Plane. The most important challenge is now the reduction of fossil fuel usage. As Electric car is on the road, let’s be hopeful we will see the aircraft engines within a very short time. These technologies are improving aviation infrastructure and airspace utilization and increasing safety, efficiency, and sustainability.