The tragic loss of life due to the crashing of the Lion Air flight 610 in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 resulted in the global grounding of the Boeing 737 Max until the cause of the crash could be reliably identified. Globally, 371 of these aircraft have been grounded. The potential risk for Boeing could be the complete or partial cancellation of orders placed by global airlines, litigation for victims of the crashes, and compensation claims by airlines for lost revenue, presenting opportunities for rivals.
Boeing introduced the Boeing Airpower Teaming System, a new unmanned system which will be designed and developed by Boeing Australia with investment from the Australian Department of Defence. The unmanned aircraft model was introduced at the Australian International Airshow by the Australian Minister of Defence, Mr. Christopher Pyne. Boeing (US) and the Australian government will manufacture and demonstrate the concept aircraft. The prototype aircraft will offer major findings and insights for the development and production of Boeing Airpower Teaming System. The prototype, named Loyal Wingman, is Boeing’s biggest investment in new unmanned aircraft program outside of the US. According to Boeing, the aircraft will be integrated with advanced sensors to perform electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft will be enabled with artificial intelligence capability to fly alongside piloted aircraft during missions.
Boeing NeXt, which leads Boeing’s urban air mobility division, worked together with Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The company successfully tested the aircraft’s autonomous functions and ground control systems of its autonomous Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV) on 22nd January, 2019.
MarketsandMarkets™ View Point:
The test involved vertical lift off, hover, and landing operations. Boeing has progressed from the design concept to the first flight test within one year and it will be interesting to see how the company progresses to the next stages of flight testing. The next stages will be crucial as they will test the transition from hover to forward flight. The company has a long way to begin, however, this test is a stepping stone towards establishing and commercializing the concept of urban air mobility. Boeing being one of the market leaders in the aviation industry, with its extensive experience and resources, the company is a strong prospect to turn this vision into reality.
According to Vaibhav Dixit - Associate Vice President : Aerospace & Defense, at MarketsandMarkets™, The passenger air vehicle is suitable for urban city commute. The all electric engine will help in reducing the carbon footprint and the VTOL technology will support the take-off and landing almost anywhere with greater flexibility. Assuming the favorable regulatory framework, infrastructure development, technology advancements in terms of battery capability and power to weight ratio, and social acceptance, the autonomous passenger air vehicle is expected to be commercialized by 2023.
Impact on Market
Boeing is expected to further expand its business aviation segment with the strategic joint venture with Embraer - one of the major business jets and light jets manufacturers.