There’s more than one way to get into the aerospace industry. If you’re a rocket scientist or a fighter pilot, you work in aerospace. CEOs of large companies that design and test missiles work in aerospace, and so do all the employees who work under them down to the last custodian who locks up at night. So with all that goes on in aerospace, who’s the best? Well, that all depends on what you want. We’ve decided to come up with a list of 20 aerospace companies that are all worth keeping any eye on because of their superior products and innovation:
20. Embraer S.A.
*Boeing took over their commercial airplane business in 2017. Though Embraer still makes many excellent private and military aircraft, they sold part of their operation to Boeing back in 2017. The larger company took over its commercial airline production. Obviously, things worked out well for both companies in the exchange since they both made the top 20 aerospace companies in the world this year. This brilliant Brazilian company may have downsized a bit, but their planes and parts are still among the finest in the world.
19. Heico Corp.
Heico provides parts and service to airplane companies. They boast that their services save customers a substantial sum each year. They’re a technology-driven electronics corporation, which means they provide electronic parts in addition to other components and installation. Full service for airplanes is an impressive way to get your name into the aerospace race.
18. Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc.
Spirit is an aerostructures manufacturing company. They build planes and parts for airplanes. Fabrication, development, and designs innovative planes, as well as the physical building portion, makes Spirit top of the line. As the worlds largest user of AFP technology Spirit, like many aerospace companies, is involved in the newly evolving field of mechatronics which combines robotics, pneumatics, programming, and numerous other disciplines. Anyone who’s looking to the future with mechatronics is top in our books. As one of the fastest growing STEM fields, most people still aren’t aware of what a mechatronics company can do. If you want to see robots fight, or improve the quality of people’s lives through medical machinery, or even build better automated toys, this is the field to be in. Naturally, the aerospace uses are numerous as well.
17. Textron Inc.
Billed as a $14 Billion multi-industry company, Textron runs five divisions. Bell, Textron Aviation, Industrial, Textron Systems and Finance are each their own separate component, and this aviation giant employs over 30,000 people. Among their best known iconic products are the Cessna Aircraft and the Beechcraft. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing a Cessna up close, take the time. These impressive planes are worthy of ranking on any ‘best of’ list in the industry.
16. Dassault Aviation
Dassault Aviation is a massive military and business, aviation producer. They’ve created over a hundred different plane prototypes. Dassault ships to 90 countries and has made over ten thousand planes for various uses. This French dynamo makes the Falcon jets and Rafale Jets plus the nEUROn combat drones to name only a few of their products. They also have their hands in space exploration with small satellite separation systems and other out of this world offerings.
15. Teledyne Technologies Inc.
Teledyne makes technology that helps with avionics systems. That’s not all they do, from undersea exploration to environmental monitoring they are more than their aerospace applications. You can find TTI products in medical imaging labs and automated factories as well. Any company that explores the earth and the stars deserves to rank among the innovative industry giants.
14. *L3 Technologies Inc.
You may already have read about this, but Harris and L3 just got approval from their stockholders for a merger. L3 Harris Technologies, Inc. is an equal merger, and both parties are incredibly pleased. The process isn’t complete just yet, though they anticipate it should be around mid-year. There are conditions to be met and regulatory requirements as well. Barring any unforeseen issues; however, there will be a complete merger of the two. We’re looking forward to seeing what the newly enlarged company has to offer.
13. BAE Systems PLC
One of the things BAE specializes in, according to their front page is, “Developing cyber defense capabilities for military aircraft.” They are helping fight cybercrime using planes drones and helicopters. As ingenious pioneering ideas go, this is our pick for the best we’ve heard so far this year. We’re very impressed with their forward thinking and doubtless, life-saving strategies.
12. Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC
Everyone knows the classic profile of a Rolls-Royce automobile. They’re top of the line luxury vehicles with an impressive array of features. What you may not have known is that they are a big part of the aerospace race. Rolls-Royce certainly puts out gorgeous cars, but they also make fantastic engines for airplanes. Many of the fastest and largest planes in Asia are run on Rolls-Royce engines. They’re on the cutting edge of training techniques as well, using VR to help teach engineers.
It’s no surprise this French company made the list and nearly cracked the top ten. Thales is an industry and world leader in identity protection and security. In addition to their more public security work, Thales is proposing an ingenious use for their drones. They think that using a small drone to fly ahead of trains is one way to help keep the traffic in Europe flowing smoothly. They plan to use the drones for safety checks and to help save the rail systems millions or even billions of euros.
10. Northrop Grumman
The big news right now coming out of this all American aerospace company i that one of their spacecraft just successfully docked with the International Space Station. Northrop Grumman Corp. is responsible for the Cygnus Spacecraft. Of course, they also create autonomous flight systems for drones and have their fingers in many intriguing projects involving logistics and modernization for older systems integration among other offerings. Bringing the future and the past together gets Northrop Grumman a spot in the top ten.
9. General Dynamics Corp.
When it comes to racing ahead of the competition, GD has that locked down. Just recently their Gulfstream G650ER broke world speed records and distance by flying from Singapore to Tucson, Ariz., at an average speed of 597 miles per hour/960 kilometers per hour for 8,379 nautical miles/15,518 kilometers, which is 44 minutes faster than any previous record. You might say they’re in the jet business, but that would be an understatement. So far this year they’ve also scored huge contracts for submarines and “Electronic and Cyber Warfare Capabilities.” General Dynamics is fast becoming the world leader in speed.
8. General Electric (GE) Company
They don’t say, “Imagination at work,” for nothing, GE lives up to it. From renewable energy sources to the future of flight, GE does a little bit of everything. Most people may still think of them as a lighting company, and they wouldn’t be wrong, but they’d be missing a whole lot of the picture. As an aerospace company, they’re building Avionix Computing Systems for unmanned vehicles this year, but who knows where they’ll go next. You can always count on GE to enlighten us in unexpected ways.
The French are undoubtedly hot on America’s heels in the defense industry and aerospace. Safran is another stellar French company that is leading the market in technology. From aircraft interiors to landing systems, they make planes as well as anyone in the world. Beyond that, they are deeply invested in their local community. They’ve put their money where their mouths are supporting the rebuild of the famed Notre Dame cathedral. On top of that, they also rank third in patent filing, not just once, but for most of the last decade.
6. Lockheed Martin Corp.
Lockheed Martin Corp. is another of the incredibly high profile, well known to everyone companies that is practically a household name. All of the top ten are. It’s possible that it has something to do with the fact that they currently employ over a hundred and five thousand people. Missiles, aerospace, defense, they do it all. Their current projects include in-depth space exploration and the worlds most powerful helicopter.
5. Raytheon Company
Everyone knows who Raytheon is. Among their many vaunted achievements, it was Raytheon or their computers, that got men to the moon. They are also well known for their defense systems. Whether it’s missiles or drones, Raytheon knows how to pick them out of the sky, which is an incredibly useful ability in modern warfare. Their efforts have saved thousands of lives and won them a spot in the top five.
Airbus is aerospace. They build commercial planes for the world and defense systems and vehicles. Satellites and launch vehicles for space, and helicopters, data services and even military transport are all part of the Airbus wheelhouse. If it’s aerospace, it’s Airbus. While Americans might not be as familiar with this company as people in Europe and especially the Netherlands are. Airbus products are everywhere in the industry. Their ability to dominate in every aerospace arena keeps Airbus on top.
Boeing is an undisputed industry leader. It would take pages to cover even a small part of how they got there. Instead, let’s look at two of the original, innovative products that are going to keep them there. The Phantom Express is Boeing’s solution to reusable and fast satellite launch. This sweet space plane will take the next generation of satellites to space with less waste than ever before. Anything reusable in space is a step ahead of the game. We already have too much clutter from abandoned and defunct satellites and other space waste above the planet.
The CST-100 Starliner is our other favorite. In collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, this unique transport system is going to pave the road to the space station in style. The round capsule looks like our dreams of easy space transport, like a high tech pinball ready to shoot straight at a target in the stars.
2. Honeywell International Inc.
Tackling the problems of the world with innovation, Honeywell’s name is on so many products you probably have some and don’t even know it. Undisputed aerospace innovations are just a part of the amazing technology offered by Honeywell. What impresses us, even more, is that a company with a soul is hard to find. We didn’t expect so much heart from an industry giant like Honeywell, but they have it in spades. Once a company gets big they stop caring any more than they have to for tax write-offs, or so it goes with most. Honeywell appears to be genuinely committed to people. Where other companies have front pages all about them, Honeywell is a business like any other, but their front page has safety tips and achievements they can’t take credit for along with their own news. That’s something worthy of notice.
1. United Technologies Corp.
The only company on this list that builds elevators and escalators is UTX. Hopefully, with that advantage, they’ll work out the space elevator before anyone else. We shouldn’t have to say they’re a leader in aerospace since they scored the #1 slot. We find their other projects just as noteworthy. Especially Girls Who Code. United is invested in closing the gender gap in the STEM fields, and they’re putting themselves out front to accomplish that goal. Women aren’t leaving the workforce, and the ability to fill positions is getting much more difficult with each passing year. UTX has the right idea, converting available resources by encouraging young women and girls to make a leap previous generations were denied. For their part in bringing aerospace to a new generation and including the underserved half of the population, while still making fantastic aerospace advances, UTC gets our vote for the best in the business.
Aerospace is one of those industries where companies are building the future as they build themselves up. We’re always excited to see what the latest advances are coming out of these incredibly high tech corporations. It’s hard to imagine how fast the entire field has grown since the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawke a hundred and sixteen years ago. While the future is never sure, one thing we know is that we’ll have our eye on these companies to light the way forward.