The Aerospace & Defense sector utilizes some of the most advanced technology in the world and spends more than $30bn annually on R&D.

Industry Challenges

Aerospace companies face a number of challenges outside of their businesses over which they have little control. The companies best placed to deal with changing market dynamics study industry trends and try to predict them in advance, whilst those poorly prepared adopt a more reactive response and often find themselves playing catch-up.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption to the aerospace industry. A sharp decline in passenger traffic caused a fall in demand for aircraft and impacted the civil sector. Whilst sales stood up in the defense sector, it is suffering from increased costs and schedule delays as a result of disruption to its complex global supply chains.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic the industry was facing several challenges such as:

  • supply chain disruption
  • government restrictions
  • defense spending patterns
  • environmental pressures
  • a host of strict regulations

Aerospace Industry Trends

There is a constant push for improvement in the industry. Some of the prominent trends are:

  • new developments in avionics
  • fuel efficiency
  • growing production capacity
  • applications for the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • electric propulsion
  • supersonic planes
  • drones
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • commercial space travel

E-learning course

  • Self-paced e-learning
  • CPE/CPD-approved
  • Designed for customer-facing professionals

▪ Identify companies operating in both the civil and defense aerospace sectors
▪ Grasp the key characteristics defining the industry through to manufacture and after sales support
▪ Differentiate and recall the relationships between members of the aerospace supply chain
▪ Recognize the business implications of current aerospace industry trends
▪ Identify the industry terminology

Aerospace Industry Insights

Cambashi Aerospace Industry Insights offers tactical industry intelligence updated by industry experts, that provides the latest information from across the globe:

  • Tactical industry intelligence updated in real-time by industry experts
  • The latest trends & challenges, business drivers, products & services, and technologies
  • Key players, business strategies, and initiatives
  • Industry terminology and metrics
  • Deeper knowledge across a variety of industry subjects

Access Cambashi’s Industry Insights Demonstration.


The aerospace industry develops and incorporates some of the world’s most advanced technologies including aircraft, space and systems development, production, and supply.

Research for Cambashi’s ‘Insights’, combined with data from our software and employment ‘Observatories’, shows that the aerospace manufacturing industry has stood up well through the COVID-19 pandemic and is already returning to pre-pandemic levels or better. This is partly due to the defense sector, which has been relatively unaffected, and partly because of the space industry which is a thriving sub-set. Both areas have advanced products with complex supply chains that require sophisticated design/engineering/manufacturing software.

The relative sizes of the Computer-Aided Technologies (Mechanical CAD, Mechanical CAE, CAM) and PLM software sectors in the global aerospace market. The total is worth approximately $US 1.7 billion annually. Surprisingly, MCAE is bigger than MCAD, showing the importance of engineering analysis and simulation in the Aerospace sector.

Historically, the MCAD market in Aerospace was much larger than MCAE, but the MCAD market is flattening out while MCAE continues to accelerate. The need for virtual and remote working is another factor that is driving both MCAE and MCAD.

Digital Twin

Digital Twins match digital models to physical entities that can range from a single component to an entire aircraft. This is particularly useful when simulating aerodynamic performance using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to improve the surface flow, and when using FEA (Finite Element Analysis) to stress-test candidate designs.

Wind tunnels and fatigue testing rigs will still be used (as they have been in the past) but Digital Twins make it possible to perform many more design iterations and stress tests prior to building and testing prototypes; they can also be used to model the final, flying aircraft and collect real-time sensor data for analysis, to predict potential failures and the steps to avoid them. Simulation, CFD and analysis are all CAE software capabilities, and the figure shows its relative importance in aerospace compared to CAD, CAM, and PLM.

With the Digital Twin approach, maintenance or upgrades can be planned and tested in detail prior to performing the work and all the correct parts can be obtained in advance – this is particularly important in AOG (Aircraft on Ground) situations when an aircraft is stranded, and it is essential that the correct replacement parts are urgently delivered. The Digital Twin approach is becoming very important in the post-pandemic era as it enables performance-informed decision-making throughout the entire lifecycle of a product or process.

Design/Engineering/Manufacturing Software Market Share – Aerospace Industry
Learn more about our market data for the engineering software


Cambashi research shows Aerospace Manufacturing is still flying high

Insights reveal the COVID-19 pandemic has not grounded global industry growth Research from Cambashi, a global leader in research, consulting, and training for engineering and industrial software markets, reveals that, despite the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the airline industry, aerospace manufacturing is still flying high. Research for Cambashi’s Insights industry training courses, combined…

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