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Today the aircraft industry is one of the most science-intensive and capital-intensive branches of mechanical engineering. Almost all mechanical engineering products are used in aircraft construction. All "novelties" of science and technology are widely used in this industry. Within the framework of the subject "Placement of productive forces" the topic "World aircraft construction" is especially relevant.

The principles and factors of placement of enterprises and resources are studied within the framework of this topic. If a state is able to locate aircraft construction enterprises on its territory, it means that the country is first of all able to finance such capital-intensive industry, or has proved itself as a reliable partner, which can be credited by more economically stable states.

Aerospace engineering is an engineering industry that is constantly evolving. Mankind today lives in the so-called information society, the purpose of information technology is to speed up information processing and, consequently, to develop supernova machines with maximum speed and maximum comfort, and aerospace engineering is an area where only supernova information technology is used.

Every state needs new aviation designs, regardless of the level of economic development, because today air transportation is the most convenient, comfortable and fastest mode of transportation.

But not every state can afford to place on its territory branches of aircraft building complex (the reason may be small territory, lack of qualified personnel, insufficient level of economic development and many other things).

Structure of the world aircraft industry

Aircraft construction or aviation industry first emerged as a branch of military character, and only later passed to civil aircraft construction. Therefore this industry is highly militarized, and its development is determined by the volume of permanent military contracts of the state and the exportability of aircraft to most countries of the world. Production of civil aircraft is totally dependent on orders coming into national and world markets, and may fluctuate greatly from year to year.

The value of global aircraft production in the mid-1990s was estimated at $250 billion, about four times less than that of the automobile industry. This is due to the nature of production: it is not mass piece production. Thus, the annual production volume of large passenger planes - airliners - does not exceed 1,000 pieces. The same applies to military and civil helicopters - 600-1200 units a year. Only light aircraft (training, sport, business, etc.) are produced in large quantities due to high demand and relatively low prices (a large commercial aircraft costs up to 180 million dollars and a light aircraft - 20-80 thousand dollars).

The high scientific intensity of the industry is due to the special complexity of its products. It takes 5-10 years to develop new designs for military and civil aviation. The task of achieving high reliability of products and ensuring long-term operation of aircraft (aircraft up to 20-30 years) requires the creation of new types of structural materials, improvement of all units of aircraft. This led to very high costs of research and development work. The overall level of expenditures on design and creation of aircraft building products is so high that only a few companies from several industrially developed countries of the world can afford it.

The high level of capital intensity of the aircraft industry causes correspondingly high monopolization of the industry: in the leading countries of the world there are only a few (3-4) enterprises of this industry. Extremely fierce competition even contributes to the merger of large firms from one country (Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas in the United States) and firms from different countries of Western Europe (Airbus industry, which brings together aviation companies in France, Germany, Britain and Spain). The purpose of the European association is to oppose the U.S. aircraft manufacturers. The role of monopolies can be judged by the fact that in 1996 about 90% of large civilian airliners (100 or more passengers) were made by two companies in the world: Boeing and Airbus. Engine production was also limited to 10 companies.

Concept and location factors of the aviation industry

The history of the development of the aviation industry began in the early 20th century. During World War I it became a major industry. The aviation industry received its greatest growth in the period 1939-1945. It is the most concentrated branch of modern industry. It is part of the military-industrial complex (MIC).

The aviation industry is a branch engaged in research, scientific development, design and testing of prototypes, mass production of aircraft and their components (engines and other equipment).

The scientific-technical and production potential of the aviation industry is the basis for the development of other industries: Metallurgy, Radionics, Electronics, etc.

The aviation industry is of great economic and defense importance for the state. Modern aviation industry is one of the most promising areas of economic development of developed countries.

The global aviation industry

The global aviation industry began to develop rapidly at the beginning of the last century. The main motive for its development was the military industry. That is why the aviation industry was originally created as a military industry, and later began to produce airplanes for civilian purposes. The development of this industry is determined by the number of permanent military state orders and the possibility of exporting equipment to other countries.

The global aerospace industry is divided into the following segments: development; production; testing; repair and recovery of aircraft; and accident investigation.

The aerospace industry is very capital-intensive, which leads to its high monopolization. There are three or four companies in the leading states' aerospace industries. Fierce competition stimulates mergers and consolidation of even large companies within a country. The main purpose of integration is to increase capacity and counteract other states.

The leading companies in the civilian aircraft industry are the best known to date. The U.S. company Boeing is one of the leading manufacturers of large civilian aircraft for long-haul flights. Its main competitor is considered to be the European Airbus

For military purposes, the main designers of airplanes and helicopters are the United States and Russia. But there are also successful designs in other countries. In particular, Israel is considered a leader in the production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The U.S. has also adopted the French Harrier aircraft.

The structure of the global aviation industry is represented:

  • Production of various types of aircraft and helicopters; 

  • Production of engines; 

  • Development and production of avionics (electronic equipment).

The main sectors of the aviation industry are aviation and helicopter production. These industries are present in more than 20 countries. Large commercial aircraft are produced in the United States, Western Europe and some CIS countries and Russia. Aircraft up to 100 passengers for intercontinental flights are produced in Brazil, China and Canada.

Production and sales of light civil aircraft for security, search of people and objects, as well as for sports, medical and business purposes has recently gained great importance.

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