A docking system consists of multiple components that fit perfectly together and surround the aircraft accurately and completely. This can be for different aircraft parts such as fuselage, wing, engine, and tail docks. The docking system can be used separately or as a whole. However, put together, the docking system enables extensive access to the aircraft.
Apart from just addressing an aircraft MRO needs, docking systems are also beneficial for aircraft manufacturing, assembly, painting, sanding, cleaning, masking, and spraying.
By Platform: This segment is divided into commercial, military, and general aviation. The commercial docking systems market is the largest and fastest growing in the segment due to the growth of the commercial aviation industry. This industry relies on safety with commercial aviation suffering losses with every major aviation mishap. Docking systems are indispensable for aircraft maintenance, a fact which is driving the market.
Military aircraft must always be kept in optimal condition. Docking systems have had to evolve given the unique design of many major military aircraft, which also serves as a driver for the global docking systems market.
General aviation comprises simpler aircraft that must undergo regular maintenance for them to be airworthy. They can be serviced by simpler docking systems, which ensures that older docking systems are not obsolete, adding value to the docking systems market.
By Type: There are numerous docking systems designed to cater to specific aircraft components. Nose docks are designed to ensure the fast and efficient maintenance of aircraft noses. The newer designs reduce ground time by allowing easy access to the nose, with height adjusters, and catering to narrow- and wide-body aircraft.
Engine docks can bear a lot of weight and are usually designed for long use due to the comprehensive nature of an engine check. Comprehensive engine checks take over 1000 man-hours to complete which is reflected in the design features of engine docks.
Fuselage docks cater to maintaining of the fuselage, which is usually difficult to reach. Fuselage docks offer mobility along with rotational capabilities.
Wing docks emphasize a lightweight design to enhance their mobility to ensure the shortest amount of ground time for the aircraft.
Tail docks have multiple platforms so that technicians can reach all parts of the aircraft tail for maintenance. They can cater to both narrow- and wide-body aircraft due to their design.
Complete/combination docks combine all types of docks into one design for the complete maintenance and overhaul of aircraft. Used for the time-consuming 3C and D checks, these platforms come equipped with an array of technologies to aid in aircraft maintenance.
By Aircraft Type: Fixed-wing aircraft are by far the largest market in this segment. Almost all commercial aviation and air freight depends on fixed wing aircraft. This is driving the docking system market.
Rotary wing aircraft are the fastest-growing market segment as they are increasingly being used for commercial purposes. They require a different docking system than those used by fixed-wing aircraft and this is driving innovation and growth within the rotary wing docking systems market.
By Operation: Automated docking units are yet to be the first choice of customers, globally. However, Asia-Pacific is expected to witness a strong growth in automated and self-propelled units in hangars.
The manual operation segment is larger. The majority of the European market for MRO is catered to by manual traditional designs.
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