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World’s Top 10 Aircraft Manufacturers

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, air travel has dropped significantly in recent years, but as travel reopens round the world, there are ten leading aircraft manufacturers that have what it takes to keep the industry moving. As of 2021, these top ten leading manufacturers comprise  Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Boeing, Raytheon Technologies (fka United Technologies), Northrop Grumman, General Electric, Safran, Leonardo, Bombardier, and United Aircraft Corporation. To further understand what determines success in the industry, this blog will explore the unique advantages of each of these top companies, including their growth opportunities, and their prominence on the market.

By revenue, Lockheed Martin can be considered the number one aircraft manufacturer of 2021. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was Lockheed Martin’s largest year of revenue, generating $65.4 billion USD, with around 78% of their annual revenue derived from US military contracts. As they do not make commercial aircraft, they are best known for models used by NASA and the US air force, including the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, and the F22 Raptor. While military and security aircraft generate a lot of business, Airbus is a second leading manufacturer by revenue with the majority of their business based in commercial airliners. In 2020, they generated a revenue of $78.9 billion, but it is estimated that travel bans will lead more recent sales to drop. Nevertheless, Airbus released the first aircraft with the digital fly-by-wire interface known as the A300. This model was also the first to boast a double aisle and double engine, earning its renowned status in the industry.

Boeing is another reputable manufacturer of commercial airliners, and they are well known for their 737, 747, and other Dreamliner models. Unfortunately, issues with the 737 in 2017 led to the company losing its leading status in the industry; however, Boeing is likely to generate more revenue in the upcoming future as commercial travel increases, as well as through the sales of weapon systems, satellites, and rocket production. Another way to stay relevant in the airline manufacturing industry is to offer new technologies which is why Raytheon Technologies, recently merged with United Technologies, holds high status within the industry. Of their large employee base of 180,000 people, roughly 60,000 are engineers, meaning they are focused on innovation and growth advantages. Specifically, the company is currently focusing on improving sustainability in air travel which is currently one of the Earth’s greatest pollutants.

Northrop Grumman is a military aircraft manufacturer that has received eight Collier Trophies from the National Aeronautic Association for various achievements since 1994. This includes the Grumman X-47B, the first unmanned and autonomous aerial vehicle to be used in the US Navy. Today, they are continuing innovation with a new bomber vehicle. At about half the size of Northrop Grumman with 48,000 employees, General Electric keeps its name relevant by supplying engines, computers, and other appliances to big aircraft manufacturers, those of which include Airbus and Lockheed Martin. General Electric is popular for both commercial and military aircraft, and they generated a revenue of $22.04 billion in 2020.

Safran is another leading manufacturer that no longer produces aircraft. Instead, they manufacture engines, avionics, airplane interiors, electrical systems, and much more. They are a world leader of navigation systems for both military and commercial aircraft, and they specialize in interiors, as well as engine and various system components. Meanwhile, the Italian manufacturer Leonadro specializes in cyber security and was the eighth largest military contractor in 2018.

Interestingly, Bombardier operates at a much lower revenue than many of these leading manufacturers with a revenue of $6.5 billion in 2020, and they mainly produce commercial airliners and trains, with a more recent focus on private jets. This turn in production has earned them a unique spot on the market, and they keep their name relevant with their manufacturing of the Global, the Learjet, and the Challenger, all of which are top sellers in the private jet industry. Lastly,the most controversial, leading name in aircraft manufacturing is the United Aircraft Corporation, a state-owned Russian firm that produces military and commercial aircraft.  Despite many sanctions that Western governments have placed on Russia, many Western companies like DHL continue to source from the United Aircraft Corporation.

There are many factors that determine success in the aircraft manufacturing industry, so the order of these ten companies can vary by revenue, size, employee number, and more. However, innovation and change have allowed these leading manufacturers to make and hold a place for themselves as some of the most recognizable and sought-after companies today. When you are in the market for reliable aircraft parts from top manufacturers, Aerospace Parts Distributor has you covered. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are a leading online supplier of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts. Kick off the parts procurement process today by submitting a Request for Quote form on any item; our team will contact you with a personalized quotation within 15 minutes of submission. For further questions, you may contact us at any time via phone or email, 24/7x365!

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