The aerospace industry encompasses all of those involved in the design and manufacture of flight vehicles both within the Earth’s atmosphere and beyond it. Essentially, this means it is related to the science and technology of aircraft and spacecraft. In this article, you will be able to find out much more and view a list of the industry’s major aerospace companies.
- What Does Aerospace Mean?
- What Does the Aerospace Industry Include?
- List of Aerospace Companies Including Aircraft & Spacecraft Manufacturers
- Aerospace Companies That Build Aircraft
- Aerospace Companies That Build Spacecraft
- An Overview of the Airline Industry
- List of Airline Companies per Continent
- Understanding What the Aviation Industry Is
- Overview of Sites to Discover Jobs in Aviation & Aerospace Companies
- List of Recruitment Agencies to Discover Jobs in Aviation & Aerospace Companies
- Aviation Management: A Great Guide to Start Your Career in Aviation
- Aviation Courses: Develop the Skills to Work for Aerospace Companies
The term ‘aerospace‘ refers to the science, technology and industry associated with both aviation within the Earth’s atmosphere and spaceflight. The word itself is derived from ‘aeronautics‘, which refers to flight within the confines of Earth’s atmosphere, and ‘spaceflight‘, which refers to a flight that extends beyond our planet.
For the most part, aerospace companies are involved in things like research and design, flight operations and maintenance. However, it is important to understand that activities do also extend beyond this.
What Does the Aerospace Industry Include?
On a basic level, the aerospace industry is concerned with aircraft, such as aeroplanes and helicopters, and spacecraft, such as rockets and space vehicles. It includes aerospace companies in both the public and private sectors, such as airlines, aeroplane manufacturers, spacecraft manufacturers, space agencies and space tourism companies.
On top of this, the aerospace industry also includes companies involved in the design and manufacture of gliders, hot air balloons, blimps, military jets and military weapons, such as rocket and missile systems. Therefore, it is safe to safe to say that aerospace companies come in many shapes and sizes, offering excellent employment opportunities.
List of Aerospace Companies Including Aircraft & Spacecraft Manufacturers
Below, you will find a list of some of the most significant aerospace businesses, ranging from aircraft companies and spacecraft companies, through to businesses involved in the emerging industry of space tourism.
Aerospace Companies That Build Aircraft
The following are examples of aviation companies, aircraft companies and other similar organisations.
Based in the Netherlands, with major production facilities in Germany, France and Spain, Airbus is one of the world’s largest aerospace companies and the single largest in the continent of Europe. The company is mainly known for its production of commercial aircraft and is the largest airline manufacturer in the world. However, Airbus also has a defence and space division and is heavily involved in the manufacturing of equipment for both of those sectors.
The Boeing Company
Boeing is based in the United States, is recognised as one of the largest aerospace companies in the world, and is primarily associated with the manufacture of commercial aircraft like the Boeing 747 and the Boeing 737. In addition to its work for airlines, however, Boeing is also one of the largest defence contractors, manufacturing military aircraft and missiles, and is also involved with the manufacture of rockets, spaceplanes and roving vehicles.
Lockheed Martin is another of the major aerospace companies located within the United States. It places a particular focus on military aviation and is widely recognised as the largest defence contractor in the world. The name of the organisation stems from a merger between the Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta. The company is perhaps best known for manufacturing military aircraft, but also creates space capsules and other aerospace equipment for NASA.
GE Aviation, formerly known as General Electric Aircraft Engines, is a subsidiary of the General Electric Company. It is one of the largest aerospace companies in the United States and it is primarily involved in the creation of aircraft engines, which are mainly used for commercial aircraft. Its engines are recognised around the world for their high quality and are used by the aircraft manufacturer Boeing, as well as the United States Department of Defense.
Northrop Grumman was established in 1994 as a result of a merger between two previous aerospace companies, Northrop Aircraft and Grumman Aerospace. It is well-known for developing a number of high-profile military aircraft, including the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, which was the world’s first stealth bomber and which is used by the United States Air Force. The company is also involved in spacecraft manufacturing and created the SpaceShipOne spaceplane.
Leonardo S.p.A. is a multinational company, with its main headquarters in Rome, Italy. It is one of the largest aerospace companies in Europe and is divided into a number of sub-sections, including one for military aircraft, one for commercial and military helicopter development and one for spaceflight. Among the most notable vehicles developed by Leonardo are the M-346 military aircraft and the AW139 helicopter, both of which are used by the Italian Air Force.
Bombardier Aerospace is a division of Bombardier Inc, which is one of the most successful aerospace companies in North America. The company has its headquarters in Canada and was previously involved in the manufacturing of commercial airliners. However, today, Bombardier Aerospace is almost exclusively focused on the development of business aircraft, with examples including the Bombardier Global Express and the Bombardier Global 7500.
Raytheon Technologies Corporation is based in the United States and is recognised as one of the largest defence and aerospace companies globally. The business was established in 2020, as a result of a merger between United Technologies Corporation and the Raytheon Company. It has a number of divisions, including one which develops aircraft engines, one which specialises in missile defence systems and one which develops aerospace systems.
Safran was founded in 2005, although its origins can be traced back to the establishment of its predecessor, Snecma, back in 1945. It is one of Europe’s main aerospace companies, has its main headquarters in France, and is best known for developing commercial aircraft engines, landing systems and other similar equipment. In addition, the company is involved in both the defence and space markets, creating space launchers, missile turbines and rocket motors.
Rolls Royce is a multinational engineering company, which is based in the United Kingdom. Its involvement in aerospace is predominantly in the form of the design, manufacture and distribution of aircraft engines and it is the second-largest aircraft engine producer in the world, after GE Aviation. The company is also one of the largest defence contractors in the world and its parts are used by Airbus, the United States Air Force, the Royal Air Force and many more.
Finally, Pilatus Aircraft is one of Europe’s main aerospace companies and has its headquarters in Switzerland. The business is primarily focused on the development of fixed-wing aircraft for niche markets. Among these are aeroplanes used by various Air Forces around the world, including the Pilatus PC-21, which is used by the Swiss Air Force, the Spanish Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force and various military training schools in the United Kingdom.
Aerospace Companies That Build Spacecraft
The following are examples of aerospace companies that are primarily associated with building spacecraft.
Virgin Galactic is a division within the wider Virgin Group, which is focused on offering space flights to paying tourists. Unlike most other aerospace companies, Virgin Galactic has already started selling tickets to wealthy tourists who wish to travel to space in the future and the long-term aim is to provide affordable space tourism services for customers. Two pilots have already achieved commercial astronaut status as a result of Virgin Galactic’s efforts.
For more information, read “Virgin Galactic: Information About Virgin Space Flights”.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk and is one of the world’s most famous aerospace companies. It operates as both an aerospace manufacturer and a space transportation company, producing launch vehicles, rocket engines, spacecraft and space capsules. It was the first private company to send humans into orbit and aside from its goal of providing space tourism services, the company has ambitious plans for a privately-funded human mission to Mars.
For more information, read “SpaceX Information: Rockets, Spacecrafts and Spaceflights”.
Blue Origin is another of the aerospace companies aiming to deliver on the promise of affordable space tourism. The company was established in 2000 by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and is primarily focused on delivering sub-orbital spaceflight to paying customers, with the longer-term aim of making orbital flight available too. It is perhaps most notable for designing the New Shepard rocket and the Blue Moon lunar landing vehicle.
For more information, read “Blue Origin: Information About Blue Origin Space Flights”.
Orion Span is one of the most unique aerospace companies, offering a very different type of space tourism from companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. The business was set up by Frank Bunger and its main proposal is the development of the Aurora Space Station, which will function as a kind of space hotel for guests. From there, Orion Span hopes to provide tourists with the opportunity to enjoy overnight stays in space.
For more information, read “Orion Span: Information About Orion Span Space Hotel”.
Click here to visit the homepage of Orion Span.
Airlines can be defined as companies offering air transportation services for passengers and/or cargo, and these businesses collectively make up the airline industry. However, it is important to understand that there are different airline types, different business models and different associated services.
Check out “Airline Industry: All You Need to Know About the Airline Sector”, where you can learn more about how the airline industry is defined, who the major airlines are, how they operate and the future of the industry.
Aerospace companies work hand-in-hand with airlines and airline companies are among the largest employers in the aviation industry, employing everything from pilots and cabin crew, to customer service reps and baggage handlers. To find jobs effectively, however, it is important to have a list of the main companies in the sector.
Read “Airline Jobs: List of Airlines to Find to Find Your Next Job” and you will have access to such a list, with the airlines broken down according to the continent they are based in, allowing you to find the ideal company to approach.
The aviation industry is, by its very nature, extremely broad, as it includes all aspects of commercial, private and military aviation, as well as associated activities, such as research, safety, security and manufacturing. As a result, there are a huge number of aviation businesses operating in this space.
Read “Aviation Industry: All You Need to Know About the Aviation Sector” to find out much more about the aviation industry, how it can be defined, what makes it distinct from the airline industry, and much more.
When it comes to finding work with aviation or aerospace companies, the internet is an extremely valuable tool, as long as you know which websites to use. Most companies have their own careers section on the company website, but recruitment agencies and job boards can also have an extremely valuable role to play.
Check out “Aviation Jobs: Overview of Websites to Find Aviation Vacancies” for a complete breakdown of the main options available, complete with information on specific company websites, job boards and recruitment agencies to use.
When looking for work with aviation and aerospace companies, especially when it comes to senior management roles, you should never overlook the value of recruitment agencies. Many agencies have long-standing relationships with industry employers, know exactly what they are looking for and will happily work with you to boost your prospects.
Read through our “Aviation Management Jobs: List of Recruitment Agencies To Find a Job!” article to learn more about how recruitment agencies can benefit you and to access a list of some of the best agencies to focus on.
At the very top of many aerospace companies are aviation managers and this is the ultimate career goal for a lot of people in the sector. In order to work in an aviation management position, you need to have the right skills, experience and academic qualifications, and you need to know how to go about applying for such a role too.
Read the article “Aviation Management: A Great Guide to Start Your Career in Aviation” for a lot more information on aviation management, the value of an aviation management degree and the benefits of working in this field.
Aviation Courses: Develop the Skills to Work for Aerospace Companies
When it comes to applying for jobs with aerospace companies, you may find that some of the roles you are interested in have specific educational requirements. With this in mind, it may be useful to look into the various aerospace and aviation courses that are available and to try to find one that will boost your employment prospects.
To learn more about the aviation courses that are available, how they can help you, and the educators providing them, take a look at the “Aviation Course: A Comprehensive List of Courses & Aviation Educators” article.
Aerospace is a diverse field, which includes aircraft manufacturers, spacecraft companies, aviation manufacturers and those involved in the manufacture of rockets and missile systems for military applications. Using the list provided, you can learn much more about the main aerospace companies and then approach individual organisations for jobs.