The aerospace and defence industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the increasing capability and applicability of drones, coupled with falling costs, and growing importance of technologies such as quadcopters, drone modularisation, and high-altitude platform stations (HAPS). In the last three years alone, there have been over 174,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defence industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Drones in Aerospace, Defence & Security: Aircraft fuselage riveting. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 262,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the aerospace and defence industry, there are 180+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Aircraft fuselage riveting is a key innovation area in drones 

Rivets are preferred for critical components in aircraft bodies because they can withstand extreme loads without breaking or being damaged. It is a safer and more effective way for aerospace manufacturers to build aircraft using rivets. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defence companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of aircraft fuselage riveting. 

Key players in aircraft fuselage riveting – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defence industry  


‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to aircraft fuselage riveting

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Boeing 453 Unlock company profile
Airbus 108 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 96 Unlock company profile
Shanghai Electric Group 60 Unlock company profile
Midea Holding 25 Unlock company profile
Loxin 2002 21 Unlock company profile
BAE Systems 13 Unlock company profile
Compagnie Industrielle De Delle 12 Unlock company profile
ELECTROIMPACT 12 Unlock company profile
Sonaca 10 Unlock company profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 9 Unlock company profile
European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company 7 Unlock company profile
Stanley Black & Decker 6 Unlock company profile
Eris Lifesciences 6 Unlock company profile
Embraer 6 Unlock company profile
Lockheed Martin 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Among aerospace and defence companies, Boeing is the leading patent filer in aircraft fuselage riveting. The company produces a wide range of manned and unmanned platforms, ranging from commercial aircraft such as the 737 MAX to manned military aircraft such as the F-15EX and CH-47, to unmanned aircraft such as MQ-25 and MQ-28. Aircraft fuselage riveting is an essential component of any aircraft, including unmanned platforms. As such, given Boeing’s large portfolio of aircraft, the firm is highly invested in the development of the technology. Other key patent filers include Airbus and BAE Systems, both aircraft OEM primes. 

In terms of application diversity, Embraer holds the most widely applicable patents in airbrake control systems. Boeing and Airbus stand at second and third place, respectively. By geographic diversity, Embraer holds the top position, followed by Boeing and Airbus.

Aircraft fuselage riveting is an essential component of all aircraft, holding the aircraft’s exterior panels and general airframe together. As unmanned platforms continue to proliferate both horizontally and vertically, demand for aircraft fuselage riveting is expected to continue to increase. 

To further understand how drones are disrupting the aerospace and defence industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Thematic Research: Drones in Aerospace and Defense.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.