Dassault Systèmes – Farnborough International Airshow – David Ziegler Interview

Dassault Systèmes is delighted to once again be taking pride of place at the Farnborough International Airshow 2022. The excitement surrounding this event is gathering pace as delegates, vendors, industry experts and thousands of aviation fans are expected to converge from 18-22 July.

As anticipation continues to soar, leaders in Aerospace and Defence are finalising plans to showcase their latest developments and share industry insights. At Dassault Systèmes we embrace this opportunity to reengage with many of our existing customers, as well as fostering relationships with newer ones.

Over the course of the week, we will host live presentations using the Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE® platform and outline the latest trends and insights from leading Aerospace and Defence companies. Focusing on areas such as Sustainable Aviation, Agile Manufacturing, Defence Modernisation, New Space and Upskilling the Workforce, we will bring you a wide variety of informative and enlightening sessions from forward‐thinking experts. We will shed light on how, and where, the industry is moving.

To give you a better insight into what you can expect at the show, and to discuss the current Aerospace & Defence landscape, we caught up with David Ziegler, Vice President, Aerospace and Defence at Dassault Systèmes.

After two years without a physical show David, what are you most looking forward to about being back in person with attendees again?

DZ: “For me, it's all about connecting with people. It is for this same reason that we fly ‐ connecting. This level of connection is very important, especially after the last two‐years of only virtual interactions with our customers during zoom meetings or when sending them software upgrades for example. These were good ways to remain in touch, but it's always better to meet in person in order to really focus on the issues at hand and be able to discuss our customers’ needs face‐to‐face”.

What are those in the Aerospace and Defence industry demanding now and into the future?

DZ: “Analysing what our customers are looking for over the new few years, we’ve noticed there is a very short‐term focus on all the various manufacturing aspects of producing an aeroplane. How to manage the supply chain is a very big topic in commercial aviation at present. We had seen a big drop in demand due to the pandemic ‐ but now we're witnessing a reversal in this trend as commercial aviation demand bends up again. The production rate at Airbus for example is due to double over the next three years, which is a post‐pandemic growth rate that commercial aviation was not expecting. This in turn is putting a lot of stress on the supply chain, with the most obviously affected being tiers 1 and 2 in Europe.

However, when we look at defence, it’s a little bit different. There’s a level of pent‐up demand in defence because of the dramatic developments in Ukraine. Sovereignty is on the top of the agenda for our customers, as we've seen enormous demand for new types of defence systems in order to counter future threats. This results in our customers engaging in more interoperability discussions. The feats of aircraft and the synchronisation between the aircraft ground defences are now in the frame of NATO, which means that you need to have a lot of focus on the new systems development on interoperability.

Now in space the story is a little bit different again of course. In space we're seeing a lot of investment in new technology. In particular, technology for the development of new launchers, reusable launchers and increasing the numbers of satellites. Ten years from now there will be approximately 10 times more satellites orbiting the Earth, and that in itself will lead to more issues and require forward thinking”.

Over the last five years, what has been the greatest catalyst for sustainable aerospace vehicles?

DZ: “So, if we're talking about sustainability and aerospace, that's really focused on the commercial aviation sector. We've seen a lot of progress in a range of areas such as decreasing fuel burn by 20% and renewed generation of engines increasing lifespan from 10 to 20 years. Now looking to the future, we are focused on new kinds of technology. Hydro jet powered aircraft, further advancements in electrical aircraft and hybrid propulsion are all going to be a major focus in terms of product development and getting new technology getting on aeroplanes over the next five, ten and fifteen years.

If we look at the timescale of technology and what's going to happen over the next 20 years, sustainable aviation fuel alone is not the answer to driving to a net zero clean aviation. However, it is the beginning of an answer. If we're looking at the next five years, we're seeing more and more electric propulsion. That's valid for eVTOLs, with these newer air taxis coming online in 2024, and also for regional aircraft that will boast hybrid propulsion, so fuel based or kerosene engines together with electrical engines, and that's going to significantly drive down fuel consumption. Then if we look 10 years and beyond, this is where you will see hydrogen coming to the fore. Airbus, for example, will be showcasing their first hydrogen‐based test flight by the end of 2025 and then announcing the first hydrogen‐based aircraft from 2035”.

How is the space landscape changing, and what challenges are New Space companies likely to face?

DZ: “Okay, really looking to the space domain specifically, I think what's going to happen in the next few years is a massive multiplication of the number of satellites in orbit. It's what we call ubiquitous geospatial analytics – there will be so many satellites orbiting the Earth that we will have constant coverage of geospatial analytics. Geospatial analytics is essentially images of the earth, not only in the visible spectrum, but in a radar, infrared and every type of spectrum. This gives you the ability to constantly monitor the earth for things such as agriculture or growth expansion. In buildings, you'll be able to see the detailed progression of your construction – day by day or even hour by hour, to see how your project is progressing. From a government perspective, you'll be able to do zoning for cities, and detect and protect the borders much better than before.

A challenge, from a technological standpoint, will be to enable these mega constellations. How do we make sure that these satellites are connected to each other and communicating with each other so that you have constant relay of the signal. The second and more impressive challenge is sustainability. Due to all of these new satellites in orbit, space is going to get really crowded. So, the question will be how do you maintain your orbit if you've got a functioning satellite? Or how do you repair your satellite in space?”

At the Farnborough International Airshow can we expect real‐world case studies and showcases of Dassault Systèmes technology in action?

DZ: “Yes, there is significant transformation in the way in which aircraft are flying and in the context of the upcoming Farnborough International Airshow, we will be highlighting Vertical Aerospace.

Vertical Aerospace is a start‐up that develops new vehicles for vertical take‐off and landing. By leveraging our portfolio of solutions on the cloud and virtual twin technology we’ve enabled them to accelerate the design of this brand‐new aircraft, which is going to be fully electrical.

For further insights and to experience more we hope you drop by our Dassault Systèmes chalet C207 & C208 during the week of the Farnborough International Airshow, 18-22 July.

Visit https://events.3ds.com/farnborough-international-airshow-2022 for more information.

We look forward to seeing you!

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