Global Aircraft Actuators Market Size and Share Analysis 2023-2028
Actuators play a vital role in performing various critical functions on an aircraft. These functions include adjusting flight control surfaces such as flaps, rudders, slats, and spoilers, as well as extending and retracting the landing gear, positioning engine inlet guide vanes, and opening and closing cargo or weapon bay doors, among others.
According to market estimates, the Aircraft Actuators Market is projected to reach USD 12.56 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 7.44% during the forecast period (2023-2028), with a size estimated at USD 8.77 billion in 2023.
USD 8.4 billion in 2021
Type, System, End User, Region
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The rapid spread of COVID-19 across the Asia-Pacific region, the United States, and Europe significantly impacted the demand for aircraft actuators. This resulted in reduced revenues for suppliers and service providers due to equipment shortages, manufacturing shutdowns, and delayed deliveries. However, as supply chain disruptions ease and aircraft deliveries gradually recover to pre-pandemic levels, the demand for aircraft actuators is expected to rebound by 2023, reaching pre-pandemic levels.
Expanding air transportation services and the need to enhance connectivity and economic growth have driven countries to invest in advanced aircraft fleets with lightweight and fuel-efficient capabilities. This trend, coupled with increasing investments in fuel-efficient fleets by numerous airlines worldwide, is expected to contribute to the growth of the market.
Manufacturers globally are continuously collaborating to ensure that aircraft actuator systems are efficient, streamlined, and cost-effective while withstanding strong vibrations, extreme temperatures, and other challenging environmental conditions. The evolution of actuation technology has seen a transition from manual sources like cables and rods to hydraulically- and electrically-driven solutions.
The advent of 3D printing technology has revolutionized the design and implementation of actuators in terms of speed, cost-effectiveness, and simplicity. It enables the integration of all actuator components into a single structure, eliminating the need for external joints, adhesives, and fasteners. Once fully operational in the aerospace sector, 3D-printed actuators are expected to drive rapid growth in the market.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including type, system, end user, and region.
Segmentation by Type
Segmentation by System
Segmentation by End User
General Aviation Aircraft
Segmentation by Region
North America – United States and Canada
Europe – United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and Rest of Europe
Asia-Pacific – China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Rest of Asia-Pacific
Latin America – Brazil, and Rest of Latin America
Middle East and Africa – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Rest of Middle East and Africa
In 2022, the commercial aircraft segment emerged as the largest market share by end-user, primarily driven by airline fleet modernization and expansion plans to new destinations. These initiatives have contributed to a gradual revival in aircraft demand, thereby bolstering the order books of major aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Embraer. Actuators play a crucial role in this sector due to their high load factor, making them suitable for various aircraft components including wheel brakes, landing gears, propellers, flight control surfaces, wing flaps, and spoilers.
Furthermore, in 2021, air passenger traffic experienced a gradual growth trend in several regions worldwide. This can be attributed to the successful implementation of robust vaccine programs, which facilitated governments in easing air travel regulations. Notably, the recovery of domestic passenger traffic has outpaced the international market, particularly in countries with large aviation markets like China, India, and the United States. It is projected that global domestic traffic will continue to increase in 2021, eventually reaching a level corresponding to nearly 60% of the pre-pandemic achievements in 2019.
Hydraulic systems are anticipated to dominate the market in terms of revenue, offering various advantages such as integrated redundancy, overload protection, and a free-floating control surface. These systems rely on a central hydraulic power source and interconnected lines to connect each actuator. The servo valve, controlled by electric command signals, regulates the amount of hydraulic fluid supplied to the primary actuator.
Historically, hydraulic systems have been extensively utilized in commercial aircraft to perform critical tasks. However, their efficiency is compromised when bleed air is used to power these devices. Consequently, there is a growing trend towards electric replacements for hydraulic systems, aiming to reduce fuel consumption and enhance component reliability.
In particular, the linear aircraft actuators segment is expected to exhibit the highest growth rate during the forecast period due to its superior precision compared to rotary actuators. Electric linear actuators offer exceptional precision and can be adjusted to meet various force requirements. They are favored by aircraft manufacturers for their ease of networking, quick programmability, and availability of immediate feedback for diagnostics and maintenance. Furthermore, electric linear actuators provide precise motion control, allowing for customized speeds, stroke lengths, and applied forces. Additionally, they boast quieter operation compared to pneumatic and hydraulic actuators.
To leverage technological advancements and expand market presence, companies are collaborating in this field. For example, in July 2022, Parker Aerospace partnered with Aviation Aircraft to develop technology systems for the all-electric commuter aircraft, Alice. The collaboration introduced electromechanical actuators, electronic control units, and position sensors, along with patented eSync technology. This innovative system employs a single electronics control unit to command multiple motor-driven actuators installed along the flaps of the wing, saving space and weight.
As global commercial and defense aircraft production continues to rise, the preference for linear actuators among aircraft manufacturers is expected to drive significant growth in this segment.
The North American market, led by the United States, holds the largest consumer share, followed closely by Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. However, it is the Asia-Pacific region that is projected to experience the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the forecast period.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness significant growth primarily due to increased investments in the aviation sector from countries like India and China. The rising demand for commercial aircraft, driven by the growth in air traffic, also contributes to this trend. In fact, in 2020, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest aviation market in terms of seating capacity. The impact of the pandemic on the aviation industry led to a nearly 30% reduction in seating capacity in the United States, allowing China to claim the top spot.
An example highlighting the growth in the Chinese aviation market is the bulk purchasing agreement signed by China Aviation Supplies (CASC) in November 2022 for 140 Airbus jets, valued at USD 17 billion. This deal added to the existing orders placed by CASC. Additionally, in July 2022, Airbus confirmed multiple aircraft orders from prominent Chinese airlines like Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, and Shenzhen Airlines, totaling 292 A320 family aircraft. These orders demonstrate a strong recovery momentum in the Chinese aviation market. Such substantial aircraft orders create a considerable demand for actuators to be installed on these aircraft, leading to exponential growth opportunities in the actuator market during the forecast period.
India is also focusing on enhancing its military capabilities, with a military budget valued at USD 76 billion, making it the third-largest military spender globally after the United States and China. This budget is allocated for significant developments in military aircraft, which will see extensive use during the forecast period. As a result, the Indian government is taking crucial steps to facilitate these advancements. For example, in October 2022, the Tata-Airbus consortium, India’s first private consortium for the military, commenced construction of a manufacturing facility to produce the C-295 medium transport aircraft. This initiative aims to modernize the Indian Air Force’s transportation fleet. While North America currently dominates the market, Asia Pacific is poised to experience remarkable growth, driven by investments in the aviation sector in countries like China and India. The increasing demand for commercial aircraft and military upgrades in these regions presents significant opportunities for the actuator market.
The market for aircraft actuators exhibits fragmentation, with numerous companies providing various types of actuation systems for different aircraft programs. Leading players in the aircraft actuators market include Liebherr-International Deutschland GmbH, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Eaton Corporation plc, and Moog Inc. These prominent companies contribute significantly to the industry by offering a wide range of aircraft actuation solutions.
Key Companies Profiled in this report include Honeywell International Inc., Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Eaton Corporation, Moog Inc., Safran S.A., Triumph Group Inc., Woodward Inc., Arkwin Industries Inc., Electromech Technologies (TransDigm Group), Nook Industries Inc., Liebherr-International AG, Beaver Aerospace & Defense Inc.
Recent Industry Developments
In July 2022, Hanwha Aerospace Co. Ltd., an aerospace industrial company based in South Korea, established a joint development program with Vertical Aerospace, a United Kingdom-based manufacturer of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The objective of this program is to collaborate on the design, testing, manufacturing, and supply of electromechanical actuators for Vertical’s VX4 electric aircraft. The initiative aims to support the advancement of zero-emission, electrically powered aircraft technology.
In January 2022, Moog, a renowned company, supplied electromechanical actuators for launch motion control in the DARPA Gremlins unmanned aircraft. The Gremlins demonstration system achieved three successful flights, conducting four individual flight sorties totaling 6.7 hours of flight time, including a 1.4-hour airborne recovery mission. Moog’s involvement in this program showcases their expertise in developing and delivering high-performance electromechanical systems for the aerospace industry.
Key Questions Answered
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