Aircraft tire market to reach $1.4 billion by 2020
The niche aircraft tire market is booming and will reach $1.4 billion by 2020, a new report has found.
According to the report, Aircraft Tire Markets Global Forecast to 2020, by global market research firm Markets and Markets, the aircraft tire market is skyrocketing and is projected to reach more than $1.37 billion in the next four years, growing at an impressive 4.35 percent.
It might pale in significance when global demand for all tires has been estimated at $220 billion in 2015 but it’s still a sector of the tire industry to watch. Here we take a look at what’s motivating demand for aircraft tires, why these tires are so special and where demand is coming from.
Why is demand for aircraft tires growing?
Increasing amounts of air travel, a rise in middle class disposable income and education-based travel have all boosted the commercial aviation sector across the globe. Commercial aircraft manufacturers are constantly trying to improve aircraft efficiency by reducing the weight, and tire companies like Goodyear and Michelin are making big strides in this area, innovating in their designs and reducing tire weight.
Unlike auto tires, aircraft tires also have to be replaced much more frequently — about four times a year — although like auto tires, aircraft tires can be retreaded, with companies such as Dunlop in on the action.
What’s so special about aircraft tires?
Because even minor flaws or sub-par maintenance can lead to disastrous results, aircraft tire manufacturing is, by necessity, an exacting business.
Aircraft tire design involves various critical design factors that not only have to meet the needs of the aircraft manufacturer but comply with a host of regulatory requirements, both domestically and, if necessary, internationally.
Designing an aircraft tire is a complicated process, not least of all because it has to withstand the rigors of takeoff and landing, weather extreme heat and cold, and pass strict regulatory tests.
As Lyn Freeman, writing for Plane and Pilot says: “A tire on your car has it easy compared to one on an aircraft. Your car doesn’t drive along a sun-baked, 120-degree F taxiway, then climb into sub-zero temps several miles above the Earth, hanging in a 100-mph wind, then come down and smash onto the ground at 80 miles an hour, maybe even bouncing a few times. Not just any tire is up to the mission.”
Where is demand coming from?
Although there has been a general increase in demand globally in aircraft orders and deliveries, most of the demand is coming from the Middle East and Asia. North America, which accounts for more than half of the global market, is also a keen consumer of aircraft and the essential aircraft tire.