The aerospace and defense industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the uptake of advanced technology, and growing importance of technologies such as hypersonics and advanced materials. In the last three years alone, there have been over 237,000 patents filed and granted in the aerospace and defense industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Batteries in defense: battery-powered aircrafts. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 206,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the aerospace and defense industry, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Battery-powered aircraft is a key innovation area in batteries
Battery-powered aircraft comprise electric aircraft as well as battery-powered drones and is a fast-growing industry. Advances in battery tech are enabling its development, with increased investment in sustainability driving growth.
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 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established aerospace and defense companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of battery-powered aircraft.
Key players in battery-powered aircraft – a disruptive innovation in the aerospace and defense industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to battery-powered aircraft
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In June 2023, Raytheon achieved a critical milestone for its hybrid-electric flight demonstrator program, successfully completing a rated power test of the 1MW electric motor. The motor will be combined with a highly efficient thermal engine, as part of a hybrid-electric propulsion system.
Hyundai Motor has a division for eVTOL aircraft, which have been heralded by some as the future of transportation. It is aiming to fully commercialize its aircraft by 2028 and has secured backing from the UK government to develop a hub for eVTOL launch, which will facilitate air taxis and autonomous delivery drones.
Airbus has invested in several sustainable solutions including electric aircraft. The company aims to create an industry standard for electric aircraft and facilitate regulatory acceptable of alternative propulsion. Other key patent filers in the industry include General Electric,Boeing, and Rolls-Royce.
In terms of application diversity, Flyability leads, followed by Leonardo and Kitty Hawk. By geographic reach, Workhorse leads, followed by Sony and Nileworks.
This theme is rapidly advancing and will see significant patent growth in coming years, with developments in battery tech driving uptake.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the aerospace and defense industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Aerospace & Defense.